Agriculture To Agri-Tech

The world population is growing to upwards of 10 billion people by the middle of the century. This growth combined with the accelerating urbanization will require the agricultural production to double. To succeed, we need smart solutions from farm to fork for healthy, fairly produced, and sustainable food, feed and fibre.

 

In India, over half the population is dependent on agriculture, which contributed to 16% of GDP in 2016-17. It is here, in a sector that essentially provides sustenance to the entire country’s population, that the use of technology can be the most pervasive and beneficial.

 

Technology devised specifically for farming and agriculture is still in a nascent stage, with most agri-tech companies having been founded and funded in the past decade, and it will have a catalyzing impact on the  agrarian sector. Agri-tech channels innovation to provide predictive capabilities that can help farmers be prepared in advance to mitigate any potential risks.The utilization of technology such as Big Data analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Geo-tagging and Satellite monitoring  ensures meaningful  insights  to stakeholders at different levels of the agriculture ecosystem.

 

Once a farm is digitized, all its operations become traceable, quantifiable and transparent. Data is constantly being collected across the chain, and this means that the interested party can assess what are the pain points being faced along the whole value and supply chain. Advancements in computing capacity help process the data in minimal time, ensuring that analysis and subsequent action can be taken quickly and decisively.

Agricultural companies are increasingly leveraging this data  to achieve better yields and outcomes for themselves and their customers. The benefits will also  spill over to the retailers and consumers, who can easily verify the authenticity and quality of what they’re buying and selling.

To find out more about how technology  is revolutionizing farming, kindly register for the Webinar on ‘From Agriculture to AgTech’ on December 7th, 2017 at  http://bit.ly/2zIHOFd. The live webinar will be  presented by Mr. Bhavesh Barot, Associate Vice President (Sales and BD) at CropIn Technology Solutions.

 

CropIn Technology, a leading agri-tech company based in Bangalore, provides SaaS based services to agribusinesses globally. CropIn enables its clients to analyse & interpret data and derive real time actionable insights on standing crop and projects spanning geographies.

The company has digitized over 2.1 million acres of farmland, enriching the lives of 500,000 + farmers while working with 125+ clients.

Sources

https://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/et-commentary/how-to-wake-india-up/

CropIn Technology invited to be part of PM Narendra Modi’s and NITI Aayog’s initiative, Champions of Change

CropIn Technology, represented by its COO Mr. Kunal Prasad, participated at the recently held NITI Aayog’s Champions of Change event in the presence of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi. The event brought together a select group of CEOs and start-up founders and provided them with a significant platform to showcase their achievements and suggestions that could be incorporated in the policy making process.

Our honorable Prime Minister, Sri Narendra Modi, met the young entrepreneurs and elicited their views on policy initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship.  The young CEOs and entrepreneurs deliberated on various themes, including New India 2022, Digital India, Emerging a Sustainable Tomorrow, Health and Nutrition, Education and Skill Development, and Soft Power. Mr. Kunal explained how CropIn, with its vision to maximize per acre value and the mission to make every farm traceable, aims to work in line with the PM’s vision of doubling farmer income by 2022. His ideas of harnessing technology to bridge the existing information gap in the agri-ecosystem and leveraging agri-alternate data for revolutionizing the agri-insurance sector were well-received by fellow entrepreneurs.

CropIn Technology, a leading AgTech company based in Bangalore, provides SaaS based services to agribusinesses globally. CropIn enables its clients to analyze & interpret data and derive real time actionable insights on standing crop and projects spanning geographies.

With a robust range of products, CropIn largely works on a B2B business model, catering to agricultural businesses at different levels of the agri-ecosystem. The product portfolio includes:

  • SmartFarm: An award winning robust & flexible farm management solution which enables complete digitization of farms, empowers data-driven decision-making, and provides complete visibility of people, processes and performance on the field. It ensures management of standard package of practices, adherence to compliance and certification, pest and crop health management.
  • SmartRisk: An agri-business intelligence solution that leverages agri-alternate data and provides risk mitigation and forecasting for effective credit risk assessment and loan recovery assistance. Proprietary machine learning algorithm built on satellite and weather data is used to give insights at plot and region level.
  • Mwarehouse: A Comprehensive solution for pack house, processing & export companies that enables Farm to fork traceability & compliance, quality control and flexible inventory management.
  • SmartSales: A comprehensive CRM & input channel management solution, that helps predict and improve sales and ensures end-to end performance management of sales team
  • AcreSquare: A unique farmer application that helps companies interact directly with their farmers, share content, educate them and provide consultation, thus enabling companies to extend the power of technology for their farmers and build farmer loyalty.

CropIn Technology: Revolutionizing Agri-Ecosytem

Necessity is the mother of all inventions, they say. This adage was proven true when Krishna Kumar created AgTech start-up, CropIn Technologies in 2010.  The idea for providing SaaS based services to agribusinesses came to Kumar after perceiving the plight of local farmers who were facing a problem of salvaging crops that used to rot on a regular basis. Taking a resolution on farmers’ suicides and agrarian crisis, Kumar left his high rising career and roped in his childhood friend, Kunal Prasad and set up CropIn Technologies Solutions– an agriculture technology solutions start-up that would address several pain points of hundreds of farmers across the country.

Today, CropIn has digitized over 1 million acres of farmlands, enriching lives of over 500,000 farmers. With the vision to maximize per acre value and the mission to make every farm traceable, the ag-tech provider aims to work in line with the PM’s vision of Digital India to double farmer income by 2022. In its seven years of operations, CropIn has garnered the trust and partnership of clientele globally which includes McCain, Mahindra, Mars, IDH, Marico, Tata, Godfrey Phillips, McCain, IFB Agro, ITC, ICICI Lombard, BigBasket, Welspun, World Bank and many more. CropIn has been awarded with the illustrious Mobile for Good Awards 2014 by the Vodafone Foundation and Flame Awards Asia 2017 for its continuing and perseverant efforts in the AgTech arena.

The company brings in cutting-edge technologies – Big Data analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Geo-tagging & Satellite monitoring to interconnect all the stakeholders at different levels of the agriculture ecosystem. CropIn provides SaaS based services to agribusinesses in India and other developing nations; enabling clients to analyze & interpret data and derive real time actionable insights on standing crop and projects spanning geographies.

 

According to the CEO & Founder Krishna Kumar, as the world population crosses the 10 billion mark -by the middle of this century- agtech techniques for sustainable food feed fibre are becoming imperative. “Technology and Data Driven approach will help ag-businesses become more efficient and respond to the challenges and opportunities of the future. Sooner or later all stakeholders in this ecosystem will need to take conscious steps to solve the larger challenges of food security, sustainability, traceability etc.”

CropIn’s solutions which are crop and region agnostic help monitor farm efficiency, track sales, improve financial, operational and agronomical aspects, and connect farms to warehouses and end users, thus bringing in great visibility, traceability & predictability in all farming operations; people and processes. CropIn’s SaaS based system is not a one-time intervention but a sustainable solution.

With a robust range of products, CropIn largely works on a B2B business model, catering to agricultural businesses at different levels of the agri-ecosystem. The product portfolio includes:

  • SmartFarm: An award winning robust & flexible farm management solution which enables complete digitization of farms, empowers data-driven decision-making, and provides complete visibility of people, processes and performance on the field. It ensures management of standard package of practices, adherence to compliance and certification, pest and crop health management.
  • SmartRisk: An agri-business intelligence solution that leverages agri-alternate data and provides risk mitigation and forecasting for effective credit risk assessment and loan recovery assistance. Proprietary machine learning algorithm built on satellite and weather data is used to give insights at plot and region level.
  • Mwarehouse: A Comprehensive solution for pack house, processing & export companies that enables Farm to fork traceability & compliance, quality control and flexible inventory management.
  • SmartSales: A comprehensive CRM & input channel management solution, that helps predict and improve sales and ensures end-to end performance management of sales team
  • AcreSquare: A unique farmer application that helps companies interact directly with their farmers, share content, educate them and provide consultation, thus enabling companies to extend the power of technology for their farmers and build farmer loyalty.

 

CropIn believes in the idea of democratizing data for all stakeholders, connecting the entire ecosystem through a common platform and benefiting different stakeholders via data driven farming. In its seventh year of operation, CropIn aims to expand its foot print in other developing countries and position itself as a global leader in agtech.

 

Challenges in Tobacco Industry

Tobacco, an important cash crop in the global agricultural economy, is grown in more than 60% of the world’s nations. The tobacco industry remains an essential contributor to the economies of many countries and the livelihoods of millions of people across the globe including farmers, retailers and those employed in the tobacco supply chain. The focus of tobacco giants across the world is on sustainable farming with minimum ecological footprint, better livelihood for farmers, eliminating child labor and commitment to Good agriculture Practices(GAP) and Agricultural Labour Practices(ALP). The Tobacco industry globally has been facing problems and issues such as exploitation of labor, prevalence of child labor in hazardous work, pest infestation in farms and poor management of farm activities.  Tobacco companies are working directly with farmers and suppliers to promote sustainable farming, GAP and ALP. Through GAP, the tobacco industry is striving to improve working conditions on the farm, address the impact of tobacco on the environment and make tobacco farming profitable and sustainable. Through ALP, the focus is to improve labor practices and eliminate all forms of child labor on tobacco farms.


We are CropIn Technologies, an agri-tech company with a reach of over 1 Million Acres, 500,000+ farmers and 120+ clients. Our SaaS-based services have enabled agribusinesses globally to analyze, interpret data and gain real-time corrective insights. Our solutions will help the tobacco industry deal with the following key challenges:

  • Combatting child labor: This has become one of the toughest challenges of the tobacco industry, with some of the world’s biggest tobacco companies pledging to progressively eliminate all forms of hazardous child labor within the industry. To help address this challenge, our solutions include digital farmer registration, complete socio-economic profiling of the farmer, field staff tracking and notification alerts to management in case of forced labor.
  • Effective Pest Management: Online Monitoring of the facility for pest activity via smartphones and timely advisory for protection against infestation
  • Adoption of package of practices: Scheduling package of practices notification and broadcasting it to farmers based on date of sowing/plantation; management of farm activities ensuring completion of best practices on time
  • Adaption to changing weather: Our solutions have also helped farms with weather forecasting, enabling the farmers to be prepared in advance for any emerging weather conditions.
  • Adherence to GAP & ALP to promote best agricultural practices in tobacco farming

On the technological level, we leverage remote sensing, satellite imagery, plot geo-tagging, AI and Big Data to arrive at actionable insights on crop health, weather risks and expected yield.

For more details on our products and solutions, please visit www.cropin.co.in

The Next Gen Farming

Agriculture in India is considered as a primary activity because a large chunk of the population in India depends on farming for their livelihood. According to a leading daily, Agriculture accounts for 16% of the GDP and more importantly, 60% of India is linked to Agriculture and despite of being a primary activity or an occupation, and if given a chance farmers are ready to quit farming because of various problems that they have to face. In the same context, the whole ecosystem connected to farming is getting affected. Harvest and post harvest loss of India’s major agricultural produce is estimated at Rs 92,651 crore, according to data published by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries recently. This is almost three times as high as the new budget for the agriculture sector, which has seen an increase of 44% from Rs 24,909 crore in 2015-’16 to Rs 35,984 crore in 2016-’17.Information and communication technology(ICT) in agriculture offers a wide range of solutions to many of the agricultural challenges faced by the industry. Real-time visibility, methodologies, policy support etc. are all key components of ICT.

How can CropIn help???

CropIn is an Agtech business solution provider who is not only focused on providing solutions to agricultural sectors such as Contract Farming, Organic Farming, NGOs, Agro Chemicals Companies etcetera but also has a clear vision of making agriculture digitally smart..

As a company we want to digitize each farm, making every farm traceable and our mission is to increase per acre value for growers.As all of us know that agriculture is the most undigitized sector of an economy and the increased use of smartphones and internet on mobile we design solutions for our clients so that they can manage their people, handle their process and increase the production.According to a study done by Boston Consulting Group by 2020
about 315 million Indians living in rural areas will have access to mobile internet. The kind of solutions we have are cutting edge in the field of agricultural technology which is easy to use and gives accurate information because gone are those days when pen and paper were used to assimilate data as that never yields required results.

Smart Farm is our buddy

The farming technology that the company has come up with, provides end to end ICT solutions. Smart Farm as a tool is an eye opener for the farmers, wholesalers, importers, exporters, stakeholders and other segments that tie up with agriculture. Smart Farm provides both web applications and mobile applications to manage the farms in an efficient way. Gone are those days when a field officer used to visit a farm and update its information days later. So our farming technology makes work easier for people at all level working in an organization without affecting the results.

Imagine a field officer just walking around a field and actually able to calculate the field size. This in return not only decreases the amount of work done but also gives the accurate information rather than just relying on statements. With the help of this tool, the company can manage the three Ps i.e. People, Process and Productivity which constitutes the overall growth of a company.

People: This farm application manages whether the activities given to the field officers are completed on time. Now the question comes how would this help in growth.?? Well, the answer is very simple actually. If these can be managed within the reach of our hands then the management has the clear visibility on what is happening in the fields even if they are sitting kilometres away from the farms. Visibility in return gives maximum profit as the percentage of incurring loss decreases.

Process: With the help of this tool the communication among the management, field officers and farmers becomes more easier. Management can convey the package of practices to farmers and can also track whether it is being followed or not. This intelligent application also lets the management know if a crop is affected by pest infestation or any disease. So in case the crop is affected the field officer during his visit can simply take a photograph or the farmer can even do so and upload the picture using the smartfarm mobile application. The moment it reflects in the dashboard of our smartfarm web application, concerned team can look into the disease and give the advisories accordingly, which would reflect in the mobile application. So this is not only saving a lot of time but also preventing the crop from getting damaged. Imagine those days when if a crop was infested, farmer would have to call the field officer or any concerned person and describe the infection. By the description, either the advising team would give the advisories or wait till the field officer visits the farm, take down the details, comes back and explains the problem. In this whole course there is a high chance of that crop getting damaged and incurring loss. So why not simply update the process and get things mended as soon as possible.One of our valuable client Mr. Bhaskar Mondal from Palishree Limited says “The Smartfarm and Smartsales have been a part of our endeavors for a while now, specially concerning our organic division. The applications thoroughly helps us in our inventory management and produce traceability . It also simplifies processes of our sales team and that’s a good thing. I will recommend CropIn Technology for their time minimization and value maximization approach.”

Productivity: Now the questions comes that how would an application increase productivity?? Well, the answer is really very simple. Imagine if a company is fully optimized as far as people and process are concerned will that organization not be getting maximum production? Well yes it will, because if the risks of the crops getting damaged decreases, visibility on activities of people increases that would directly affect the productivity. Another very respected client of Cropin, Mr. Sanjay Nandrajog from Field Fresh Foods(Del Monte) says, “Field Fresh being a part of Bharti Group, it was evident for us to look towards technology as a part of our endeavors where involving farmers, customers and others are important. Today sitting at my desk , I can manage my farms, my 3000 farmers, get our harvest prediction, plan my orders and basis these, predict future planning. Most importantly, traceability comes to my customers. CropIn is our partner, as we plan to scale from 3000 to 8000 farmers. Their solutions form our backbone of farm advisory and consulting. The benefit of CropIn to us is not only for us but our farmers, production team, extension and customers.”

Technological advancements, rewriting rules of agriculture productivity & ecosystem

With close to 50% of India’s workforce involved in agriculture, the GDP contribution to the nation stands significantly at only 18%, which creates a significant gap between involvement of the workforce and the output.

Also with world population set to cross 9.5 Billion people by 2050, and with India being the most populous nation, there is an estimated need to increase agriculture production by up to 70%, making it imperative for us and all the stakeholders to collectively come together, in benefitting the country’s food security along with farmer’s income and his family’s prosperity.

 

The challenges which needs immediate attention are (a few): –

  1. Consolidating the net acreage of irrigation lands available in the country.
  2. A shift from genetically modified seeds (green revolution) to organic-based farming.
  3. Limiting usage of manure & fertilizers, ones which are environmentally harmful
  4. Improving irrigation channels and better farm mechanization
  5. Preventing soil erosion (weather sustainability) & improving adequate post-harvest warehouse and
  6. Providing adequate cover of crop insurance & farm loans.

So how do we overcome these challenges and make agriculture a profitable business for all?

How do we make every farm a factory in itself and increase the per acre value for all in the ecosystem?

‘Agriculture Technology’ is the next wave in agriculture revolution which is set to drive the ‘Ag Ecosystem’ with new age solutions, such as farm monitoring and produce mapping, predict fertilizer usage, crop stress timely detection, data collation on cloud servers, and farmer/area auditing of farm lands.

With these – food security, process improvement and farm to fork traceability will set in, benefitting all in the value chain.


Elements of Ag Ecosystem which ensure agriculture, economic and environmental sustainability are:

Internet of Things:

IOT includes tools such as Robotics, Drones, GPS & Remote Sensing Technologies and Computer Imaging.

These refer to various low-cost sensors (with the rise in demand) on field and in space which helps determine soil conditions, groundwater levels, determine NDVI, Chlorophyll Index and highlights crop stress in time, ensuring harvest predictivity at each crop stages.

The adoption of IoT devices in agriculture is on the boom, which speaks a testimony in implementing technology-based data-driven agricultural practices.


Big Data Analytics:

Touchpoint (Data points) on farms help create millions of raw data. These data are then stored on cloud servers and algorithms are carried out, which help provide us insights into the farming agronomy and help create:

  1. New breed of drought-resistant seeds
  2. Ensure food tracking and traceability and
  3. Enhance the supply chain of seeds, crop inputs and post-harvest management
  4. Develop forecast predictability for crop cycle and increase in business avenues.


Artificial Intelligence (AI):

AI refers to creation and study of computers, and software’s capable of intelligent behaviour. This helps create ‘Self Learning Algorithms & Capabilities’, and helps automate on-ground agriculture practices.

Modern day farm activities such as field sowing, ploughing, fertilizer spray, harvesting, weeding and post-harvest land-replenishing will be carried out via applications and processes developed around AI.

Though currently in a nascent stage, with time & capital investment, all modern-day farm mapping, observation, predictability and on ground operations will be automated, leading to increase in efficiency and reduction in production cost and minimizing environmental impact.

So how does one leverage from the ‘AgTech’ revolution, and benefit from

higher productivity and profitability?

CropIn Technology, a “Make in India” startup is benefitting over 500,000 farmers through digital technology and is managing over 1 million acres of farms with IoT based mobile application for 70+ clients across 5 countries.

Enterprises across the agriculture ecosystem such as contract farming, organic farming, BFSI’s, Exports, Food Processing, Input seeds & chemicals have started benefitting results of SaaS based IoT solutions which are coupled with farm data analytics and AI for remote sensing, farm plot benchmarking. Also, farmers are now availing crop insurances / agricultural loans, transparently.

A snapshot of CropIn’s applications, which define the new age of ‘Technology based Farming’ for global agriculture:

SmartFarm: Solution for food processing, contract & organic farming companies which incorporates end to end operations, guidance system and alerts. The tool provides a real-time view of the farms: Complete geo-tagged information about the People, Produce & the Production operations. It also enables simplified control of complete farm undertakings/ set-ups scattered over geographies through a single click or a single touch.

SmartSales: Solution for Input seeds & fertilizers companies. Ensures retailer management for order, stock and payments. Provides ground level sales visibility (POG), flexible systems to conduct events and training and also empower sales staff with marketing and sales strategies.

mWarehouse: Solution for export companies and post-harvest inventory pack-house management. Ensures to provide traceability to the last mile. The application records and reports the journey of harvest produce from planting to harvesting and to the initial packaging, until the last mile of delivery.

SmartRisk: SaaS-based application which connects BFSI’s to agriculture by helping banks & insurances conduct farm linked credit portfolio & risk management services using satellite-based remote sensing and big data algorithms.

To know more about how you can benefit from these technological advancements, for your farm based agribusiness get in touch with us on:

mayukh@cropin.in |

 

Can Big Data Algorithms on Agriculture be ignored by agriculturalists and governing bodies, considering the peril in today’s times?

 

9.5 billion humankind by 2050. Yes, that’s the sheer number of people on this planet who need to be taken care of, where the “taking care of” rightly begins with adequate food and nutrition. In the adversary of global warming and climate change, release of human and industrial hazardous contamination’s in the soil and sea, adoption of various debatable GMO’s, ruthless finishing on high seas etc. have caused irreplaceable damage to the eco system in which we exist today. Contrastingly, we also live in a technologically advancing society which is upgrading and advancing itself every minute across the globe, but even then, there are over a billion people who currently suffer from extreme malnutrition, poverty and hunger.

Hence, with all the technological advancements, it does make some sense to take a leaf out of it and apply the same to our current global agricultural practices in good faith of making our farms more profitable, by creating more and better quality yield, by changing the current business models and making them more evolving and above all ensuring that our current practices of farming (and available farm lands) are sufficient for the generations ahead.

This is where the Ag Tech (Agriculture Technology) takes birth, enhancing our food chain and the eco system we live in (land, air and sea) towards a sustainable future and profitable business models, for the good of society.

The evolution of mankind take its own time and so does his adoption to adverse changes. Likewise, look at our practices of farming i.e. from various nomadic practices to use of tractors today, use of hybrid seeds, greenhouse farming, biotechnology and now satellite technology adoptions to name a few.

Today, the constant changes in technology has brought us to the door step of GSI (geographic information system), Remote sensing, Cloud and Data Analytics, without which, meeting the demand and large economies of scale for agricultural produces is not sustainable. All these technology aid us to see, analyze, understand, generate insights and make predictions which are preventive and decisive concerning the food chain – soil, sea, ground water level, surrounding atmosphere, future production of crops and existing impacts caused by man due to over fishing, oil spillage, contamination of farm lands due to industrial hazards and toxicity of nuclear waste.

So how can the algorithms of ‘AgTech’, Cloud Computing and mining of farm data add benefit in simplifying the complexity of current practices?

  1. Automation, helps in time and effort management. Helps in better productivity and coordination, giving one ample time to plan, connect, coordinate and advice their field farmers, machines tools and dealers (input seeds, fertilizers, MRL residue testing laboratories) simultaneously at the click or touch of few buttons.
  1. Insight mining of farm data helps the myth involved in package of practices in farming and in handling big data analytics for Agriculture. While there will always be challenges in adoption of new technology and practices, especially in the field of agriculture where the package of practices is framed and driven by age old practices. Insight mining helps most importantly in evidence based decision making. In an environmental context, ensuring that individuals have access to information empowers them to make decisions informed by evidence. In agricultural context, open data has the potential to allow information sharing and so enable a culture of continuous improvement, where farming goes beyond sustainable to being productive farming.
  1. Remote Sensing in simple term refers to monitoring, observing and evaluating any particular data (image or statistics) from a different location of presence. Remote sensing platform for agriculture can be either from ground based, balloon, drone based, satellite monitoring or a mix of these together. Remote sensing for precision agriculture and monitoring crop stress helps bring in better traceability and transparency on various factors affecting agriculture such as weather, soil, ground water, vegetation, Land degradation, Crop Health Monitoring, Chlorophyll, Terrain and allied via reflections of the solar light falling on the earth in various color spectrum. Spatial resolution is typically referred to by GSD (Ground Sampling Distance) or pixel size of the remotely sensed imagery. GSD is the minimum size that can be detected of the features on ground/farm lands.
  1. Satellites have never played the significant role, the way they are playing in this century. The Satellite industry is now looking beyond weather, defense and allied purposes towards creating a sustainable and an ensured productive role in agriculture industry where demands are ever increasing but with limited land bank, unpredictable weather conditions and tight margins on business. The satellite imagery helps one (company and individual) understand the layout of his land and optimize his overall plantation. In the near future of today, the GSP (Global Satellite Positioning) can allow farming tools such as tractors to function independently. Most importantly be it organic or generic, satellites can independently detect and share insights on which selected group of crops need nutrients, cross planting for soil nutrition retention and what kind of nutrients and pesticides, delivering exactly the precise amount of it, thus benefiting the overall MRL level prescribed for specific variety of agricultural produce.
  1. With use of technologies such as synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and the highly technologically advanced Copernicus Program of the European Union, today an average of 1.5 Terabyte of information is shared across every day for free distribution via the catapults online data tool.

These technological changes will shift the paradigm once again in current agriculture practices, the evolution mankind has been witnessing and has been advancing in ages. Though there always will be challenges such as adoption – psychological acceptance of change, financial – investment on farming techniques (R&D by food & beverage conglomerates, seed – fertilizer production companies), implementation challenges – Literacy & wireless communication in the rural spaces of developing and under developed third world countries, geo political – coming together of International Organizations under the UN and under AID from various developed nations (by understanding various long term and sustainable humanitarian solutions) and importantly, agriculturalist and agronomists understanding the potential and future predictions contribute in the power of harnessing insights based in big farm data analytics.

 

Can digitization of farms with technology help reduce the plight of modern day farmers?

 

A big question! What do you think is the total workforce of people related to agriculture? This brings the spotlight on India’s large farming populace that’s about 58%, approximately 80% of which are small farmers owning less than 5 acres of land. Alarming or interesting, choice is yours.

Most of us or the so-called “the modern society” are unaware of the fact that the overall condition of farmers is perceived to be sympathetic in most of the states. A survey found that nearly 28% of Indian farmers do not like their agriculture profession for reasons like no security, unpredictable weather, poor income and a numerous other factor leading to high risks. Also, the abounding population of India is no secret and feeding them is a herculean task. But considering every situation, India has the capacity to do so, plus produce wheat and rice for global exports too, if it can reduce food staple spoilage, improve its infrastructure and raise its farm productivity.

The major challenges that today’s farmers deal with, leading to a low productivity are: Small sizes of land holdings subjected to land ceiling acts, Inadequate use of technology and modern agricultural practices, Inconsistent government policies, Agricultural illiteracy with respect to the use of modern methods, Inefficient supply chains causing wastage of 30% of food produce.

As it is said, “Farming is the profession of hope”, Indian startups with niche technology are developing modern techniques and applications to solve the problems in the not-much-focused but the core agri sector. Their commitment to agriculture is second to none. Technical help to the farmers is the key in order to avoid crop losses and increase productivity.

Cloud-based farm management apps have developed solutions to simplify the logistics/supply of food products and improve the facilities for proper storage to avoid food wastage, making it all traceable. Not only that, Crop Insurance is rendered to support the agri waste both to the small and big farmers.

In the digital world, farm management and detailed data analysis are the new techniques for improving the agricultural experiments and providing the farmers/agribusinesses/agronomists with the useful insights like determining soil conditions using remote sensing techniques, growth of plots and per acre value using satellite; weather forecasting, crop monitoring, production forecasting, harvest managing and every last agriculture related information required, with the help of a simple mobile application.

Resorting to such technological support and furtherance is going to facilitate the agri sector and can be a big support to the farmers. All they need to do is switch to the “e-world” i.e. get connected to the world via the mobile and the internet that is easily available and affordable too. This simple adaptation can be a life changer for them, making it much easier and prosperous.

As per Thomas Jefferson, “Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals and happiness”. By and large, a good agricultural produce, at the end of the day, is the most sustainable and dependable solution to make a happy farmer. So just eat healthy and kick start your day!!


-Kunal Prasad, COO – (CropIn Technology)

Reincarnating, Agriculture

We have all read about how the dawn few years ahead of us will show us lands barren with nothing. If you have seen the movie Interstellar, there is nothing but corn maize to be sown, grown and eaten. And what we hear now, people with a vision to populate another planet to take our beings further. For a second, imagine if this would happen. We essentially resist change and change of such magnitude would replace our thought process. Speculate. May be good, maybe bad. However, I would not like to imagine a different world. I would like to imagine this world only more lush with a desire to be closer to nature, would you want any substitute for that?

The vision of life should not be the new world order but a better world order. Think about why this shift in exploring new avenues for humanity is happening. Because we are running out of food! We need to restore our food chain right here and right now; adopting ways and methods which will make food sufficient and coincide with the graph of population, only to surpass and increase at over 9 Billion people.

Imagine agriculture being a part of our lives and technology to drive it. Imagine vertically standing buildings with tilted walls facing the sun in every house and that is your farm. Yes, Yours ! Why should only light switches be controlled by devices, why not every step of farming. Infrastructure planned and built to incorporate household’s small scale growing practices. 

Agriculture will go beyond digitization drive and everything will be controlled by technology. Seeds will be supplied by drone, soil will be tested, nourishment and sowing by machines. Package of practices and timely monitoring will be taken care by a real time device installed at station and connected centrally to your computer giving you every minute data of your crops life. The whole community will contribute their share of food where your right of eating food will also reflect in your responsibility of growing for others.

Moving from small scale to big farms, technology will be pivotal in increasing the per acre yield of the farms to ensure surplus. From installing devices to making sense of big data and insights from algorithms. From satellite to remote sensing. Technology will make a big difference in three aspects of agriculture – timing, quality and quantity.

From software to hardware, every effort into technology for agriculture will reduce labor, sweat and above all, uncertainty. Agriculture will be more beautiful and organised and is today, waiting for its renaissance.

( Priyanka Hirwani, Product Manager, CropIn Technology )

Small step for a farmer. Giant leap for Agriculture

For the contributions we have made in the agri tech space in India, we were invited to represent the country alongside our Prime Minister’s visit to Kenya. We met Mr. Narendra Modi, PM of India and Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya. It was a great experience demonstrating our agri tech innovations to them! Mr. Modi not only took keen interest but also evangelized our solution for use of technology in agriculture.

We are recognized to work towards increasing the per Acre Value of the Farm, in conjunction with Indian Government initiatives around “Prosperous Farmer for a Prosperous India”. This idea is driven by providing technological solutions to the businesses working with the farmers. Our solutions are not restricted to a particular sub – sector but encompass every industry working with the farmer.

So, are multiple reasons why farmers and businesses are adopting CropIn solution. With the dire need to feed more than more people by 5050, we enable farmers to make advances in producing more for a growing world. We help them to keep up with the times of changing climatic, economic and physical conditions of the world. And what more pleasure than seeing farmer’s son being proud of this scientific change and happy to go back to farming with better returns!

Ramesh is growing Potato in the south region of Punjab and has the exact specification of when to sow the seeds, the distance between two rows, the temperature in that area, when to implement Package of Practices and how, what is the right amount of chemicals he should put, how to tackle a disease and finally how soon is his crop ready to harvest. All this is enabled because companies are using SmartFarm (CropIn product) to trickle the optimum advisory to Ramesh and in return he realizes more yield.

And what if we can monitor the farms from space, predict the output, possible negative impact and hence help improve yield further? What if we can empower the farmer with crop protection and insurance triggered by the proactive observation of farm condition through satellite imagery? Especially in a country, where today roughly 330 million farmers are affected due to drought, we can take a pre disaster approach to management. Technological initiatives at CropIn, have enabled companies to shift their focus from reacting to pre-planning by using satellite information and therefore providing financial protection to farmers. We process the data of satellite imagery to generate the rank and score of the plot, generate historical data such that the need assessment cycle time is reduced and once the satellite data indicates that an agreed threshold is reached (e.g. a specific degree of modeled crop loss), an insurance pay-out is made to the insured. Not only this, CropIn has capability to give score and a rank to even an one acre plot and help the farmer to improve per acre value by highlighting crop health and weather risk, helping him in real time to take correct measures. Thus, the economic safety is ensured to the farmer through CropIn.

Combining all this, CropIn ensures that the farmer thrives and agriculture is made sustainable. Along with CropIn, other start-ups are experimenting with these ideas and this is a great step towards delivering the right mechanisms to the farmers! We are happy that this enlightenment is shared across many groups. And so, we are assured that one day farming will be a choice of profession not because it has been running in the family but because it is a matter of pride. Do you want to become a farmer?