Improved agronomic decisions could soon be a reality for Indian farmers, following the launch of a new international sensor technology project.
The collaborative work aims to deliver a cost-effective environmental sensor technology to help enhance crop productivity, reduce waste and increase profitability.
Overseen by agri-tech specialists Crop Health & Protection (CHAP) and Terraprima, alongside Indian organic fertiliser company, Organic Solution, the sensors will collect real-time data including light level, air temperature, air relative humidity, soil moisture, temperature and water level.
Data will then be fed back to a dashboard, supporting improved agronomic decisions that de-risk and prioritise operations for the farmer.
The project is being driven by sensor technologists, Terraprima, who will design, develop and manufacture the sensor hardware in house. Terraprima CEO, Jozef Wallis, said: “This presents an exceptional opportunity to better service the agricultural sector and food eco-system in India.
“For the first time, data will be shared across the various stakeholders, to provide improvements and efficiencies that benefit the whole farming community.
“Working closely with our esteemed partners, we look forward to this foundational step forward that will develop accurate algorithms to help on and off farm activities, including reducing waste and inputs, to improve the quality of crops.”
The project has recently secured six months of funding through the UK Government from The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s Science and Innovation Network. This is to support identifying pilot sites, the construction, shipping and deployment of environment sensor technology to India, followed by the gathering of data, capacity building and dissemination of results.
International Business Development Manager for CHAP, Dr Jenna Ross, said “In India, there are large numbers of smallholdings where risks are high, margins are tight and there is little capital available for investment in new technology. Agronomic expertise can be expensive, particularly if farm visits are required.
“Consequently, CHAP is absolutely delighted to support this project, bringing our wealth of international project experience to address this issue in India and provide a solution.
“Supporting an evolution towards using real-time field data rather than historical or anecdotal experience, means more accurate decisions can be made and acted upon, even by the growers themselves.”
Alongside the sensor data, the dashboard will also feature weather forecasts and decision support tools.
The project is in collaboration with Organic Solution Inc., an organic fertiliser manufacturing company established with a mission to provide world-best bio-organic agriculture inputs to the farmers of India, and to become a one stop agricultural solution provider.
CEO of Organic Solution, Mark Garvin, said; “Our team is made up of certified agronomists who are experts in crop nutrition and agribusiness.
“We understand farmers’ goals, working across India and around the globe to help thousands optimise yields in economical ways. We are thrilled to be working on this innovative project alongside Terraprima and CHAP.”