Thursday, February 9, 2023
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Testing Soil Intelligently: 100-250 Samples A Day


IIT Kanpur-incubated startup, AgroNxt, which had began out as an SaaS platform for farmers in 2016, launched a chemical-free, digital soil-testing gadget, known as Bhu-Parikshak, this 12 months. It makes use of NIR spectroscopy and AI/ML to calculate six parameters in a soil pattern immediately.

A typical soil testing lab in India takes as many as 7 to 30 days to check a soil pattern for a farmer, in response to Rajat Vardhan—the co-founder and CEO of agri-tech startup AgroNxt. However then, one most likely can’t anticipate the 4,000-odd labs to conduct the soil checks for 140 million hectares of India’s internet sown space any sooner.

Bhu-Parikshak

That is when the sensible and transportable soil-testing gadget Bhu-Parikshak (Hindi for soil tester) comes into the image. No technical experience is required for its utilization, however only a smartphone to attach and electrical energy for charging it.

Vardhan and Ashutosh Tiwari began AgroNxt as an advisory platform for the farming neighborhood. With subsequent data-driven revisions and funding from IIT (Indian Institute of Expertise) Kanpur as an fairness holder, the crew determined to introduce an answer for one of many greatest challenges confronted by the farmers: the requirement for a fast, inexpensive, and chemical-free soil testing gadget.

Apparently, the researchers at IIT Kanpur have been already working on this route. Quickly, a crew below Prof. Jayant Ok. Singh got here out with the Bhu-Parikshak. Vardhan says, “The institute selected AgroNxt to commercialise the product as a consequence of our agricultural and knowledge experience. They believed that an IoT primarily based electronics answer, which might be plugged into our SaaS (software program as a service) platform, may attain the farming neighborhood at a big scale.”

Notably, this {hardware} answer will not be straight meant for the farmers. Vardhan factors out, “Greater than 80% of Indian farmers are small and marginal, who’ll not be capable to afford a person gadget, till and until subsidised by authorities.”

The corporate is positioning the product for the business—the 400,000 plus agri-input outlets, sugar factories, espresso and tea plantations, and FMCG (fast-moving client items) firms within the agriculture provide chain, who should buy the gadget and supply providers to the farmers. “Microentrepreneurs, self-help teams, and farmer producer organisations may additionally onboard and, in flip, give soil testing as a service to the farmers by charging ₹50-100 per pattern, because it must be economically viable for these teams,” provides Vardhan.

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