Imagine a farmer being able to keep track of livestock remotely, using a mobile phone, or being able to check soil quality before sowing or getting timely weather information that helps to protect crops.
Such a scenario may not be too far away, given the advent of the 5G mobile communication standard and artificial intelligence-enabled Internet of Things, which agritechstartups are using to provide solutions to farmers and bring business and scale to agriculture in India.
Such agritechstartups are set to play a dominant role in disseminating information to farmers and maximising their profits in the near future, experts predict. However, growth in this sector will be spurred only with a strong financial inclusion policy, faster data penetration and more government support in terms of funding, industry officials said.
Still, there is potential, as reflected in the mushrooming of agritechstartups. Smartbell, an animal health monitoring solutions company founded by Veena Adityan and Jose Chitty, has developed sensors that can be mounted on collars or ears to monitor the movement and location of cattle and their health.
About 70% of the cattle in India are affected by preventable diseases, said the UK-based company. Smartbell’s devices can also be connected to large cooperative dairy producers and cattle insurance companies. Duke of YorkfoundedPitch@Palace is an investor in Smartbell.
Another leading agritech player is CropIn, which has shrewdly morphed data analytics, AI and satellite-based remote sensing to offer a suite of services for larger operations: on-farm trials for seed suppliers, farm management solutions and interventions at every stage of the crop cycle. Its flagship tool is the SmartFarm which was successfully used at the bottom of the pyramid, by the Tata Trust’s Collective for Integrated Livelihood Initiative (Cini) to help over 40,000 tribal households in central India by providing best farming and livestock practices.
Source: Economic times& Deccan chronicle