For providing remote sensing services in agriculture, we have created a database of cadastral maps with attribute data. These maps are based on authentic land records digitized by MRSAC. Survey number wise information contained in these maps forms the basis of individual farm based precision farming advisory to small, medium and large farmers alike. Dissemination of farm level precision farming advisory is managed through a specially designed farmer’s friendly mobile app “CropTech Pro”. After creating a solution for individual farms, next logical step is a solution for farmer collectives, i.e. Farmer Producer Companies. The main motive behind promotion of FPCs is to resolve the ill effects of land fragmentation. However, due to lack of user friendly solutions, FPCs are not able to handle membership management, production planning, inputs facilitation and produce aggregation in an effective manner. We are developing an integrated portal “e-FPC”, which is a solution to solve this issue with the use of mobile app, remote sensing and GIS.
CropTech Pro: Precision Agriculture and Automation Solutions
Solutions that use individual, farm-level, and spatial data to guide farmers in adopting precise production practices. Aim is to promote sustainable production through the use of tools such as decision support system, remote sensing, GIS and IoT devices. Precision farming pertains to accurate and timely decision making using relevant information. For example, selection of variety depends on soil type, soil depth and rainfall pattern. Once these variables are known, the decision support system integrated in the app comes up with a short list of suitable varieties. Similar DSS are integrated for optimum spacing, precise calculation of fertilizer doses, pest identification and management, weed control, irrigation scheduling and harvesting management. The CropTech Pro app is designed to enable precision farming at individual farm level which is sustainable because of rational use of most suitable inputs. The coordinates of the farm are registered using a satellite image as a reference. Finer details about the farm, such as soil type and fertility, external inputs used, irrigation availability etc. are captured and attributed to the registered farm area. Using these details, the app guides the farmer through every stage of crop cycle. This app thus works as a digital personal assistant of the farmer sitting in the smartphone in his pocket. Farmer can upload photographs to get help in identification of stress, nutrient deficiency, pest and disease attack etc. Accurate and timely identification helps in adoption of suitable measures precisely when and where they are required. The data collected from many users provides an opportunity to analyse collective requirements of inputs, patterns of crop growth and occurrence of pests and diseases etc. Farmer collectives such as FPCs can immensely benefit from the datasets related to their members helping them manage the operations more efficiently.
e-FPC: Digitization Solution for FPCs
This solution supports digitization of FPC operations. There are two modules of which one deals with legal compliances and the other with business operations. Size of any FPC is usually measured in terms of membership. However, area under cultivation of the focus crop should actually be the real measure. Measuring membership is easy, but enumerating area under cultivation, with all the details right from soil profile to crop details is a difficult task if done manually. Semantic Agritech has therefore designed a solution to digitize individual farms of all the members in GIS environment. Once digitized, aggregation of the farms and attribute information at FPC level is relatively easy and immensely useful. When all farmer members register coordinates of their farms, satellite images can be easily used to verify crop area, analyse crop health, detect pest-disease affected areas and water stress etc. FPC management will get a bird’s eye view of the entire catchment area of the FPC on a dashboard. This will enable generation of reports on inputs requirements, production estimates etc. Simultaneously analysing the entire catchment area of the FPC using GIS can help aggregating requirement of seeds, fertilizers, pesticides etc. in advance enabling bulk purchases. FPC management can easily monitor area sown under a particular crop or variety and using estimated yield, plan aggregation of the produce to manage inventory for further disposal through sales or warehousing.
Market linkage and traceability solutions
CropTech Pro app has the basic feature of registering the farm boundaries using geographic coordinates. All attribute information is linked to these coordinates. This enables overlaying of all registered farms on a satellite image in GIS environment for simple visual analysis as well as running queries to get specific reports. For example, when all members of an FPC are registered on this platform, one can extract information such as number and list of farmers who have sown a specific variety, grouping of farmers based on their actual sowing date and/or expected harvesting date, estimates of availability of produce on a specific date or week and so on. All this information is very useful for buyers, particularly those who require traceability. Our e-FPC solution provides facility to the farmers and FPCs to generate sale leads while buyers can also place their demand online. This will lead to buy/sale transaction online or offline. Since every farm is monitored right from land preparation to sowing to harvesting, buyers can segregate farmers adopting specific variety or certain production practices and place their demand directly or through FPC to get assured supply of produce as per their requirement. The app can also facilitate dissemination of advisory related to use of specific inputs, especially pesticides, provide advisory on production practices, harvesting management and post-harvest practices easily and effectively. This technology enabled platform will connect farmers and buyers directly all the time to address issues like food safety, traceability, quality and continuous availability.
Soil Testing is the basic requirement for precision farming. Facilities of soil testing coupled with proper advisory services at farm level needs to be made more accessible. Semantic AgriTech is collaborating with existing labs as well as train rural youth to provide soil testing services through our own labs. This will create sustainable rural employment, promote sustainable precision farming leading to rational use of fertilizers and increase in average yields.
Drones for Surveys and Spraying
Drones can be used as a vehicle for surveys as well as for spraying. Spraying of nutrients such as Nano Urea and spraying of pesticides as and when recommendations are available has immense potential of rural employment generation. Survey of crops using drones is required by the government as well as private agencies. Here, data processing is a specialized task, which can be handled by Semantic while rural youth are trained to fly drones to collect the data.
Our Services are Unique and Innovative:-
1. Precision farming Solutions for Small farmers -
Our products, “CropTech Pro” as well as “e-FPC” provide precision farming advisory services to individual farmers having a farm size of at least 1 hectare. Decision support systems are built to suggest variety, spacing and fertilizer doses according to the soil properties of each farm. Such farm level customized services are not provided by any other service provider in the market.
2. High volume, low value cash crops –
Semantic AgriTech has selected Cotton and Soyabean as focus crops. This is against the common trend of application of high tech in high value commercial crops. Involvement of large number of small farmers and low levels of technology adoption in these field crops drives our agenda of enabling precision farming for every farmer.
3. Use of Satellite Images and GIS for Small Farms –
Till now, satellite images were used to monitor large areas such as Taluka, District, River Basins or State. Semantic AgriTech is on a mission to simplify use of this technology by small farmers. We have collaborated with GeoCladian, a German Technology Company for the same.
4. Handholding Support –
Semantic has appointed ‘Krishi Mitra’ in every taluka selected for introduction of this technology. These trained local resources remain constantly in touch with farmers to support use of the app and resolve queries.