Chairperson: Sanjeev Gupta [IAS], Joint Secretary,Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India
Co-Chair: M.V. Ashok, Chief General Manager, National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development.
Jury Expert & Moderator: Anirban Mukerji, Senior Manager, Wireless Reach, Qualcomm
1. Dr. Surabhi Mittal, Senior Scientist, Dissemination of Climate smart agro-advisories to farmers (CIMMYT-CCAFS), India: It is a climate smart technological app. It assists small, marginal and women farmers to adapt to climatic changes. It helps them adopt technologies that could mitigate their risks due to climate change. It sends information through voice messages. The team has collaborated with multiple service providers and the message can be delivered even to a basic phone like Nokia 1100.cIt dispenses information about weather, insurance, diseases, nutrient and water management, inputs etc. They have incorporated a feedback system to collect responses from farmers.
It was commenced in 8 villages of Bihar and Haryana on 15th August, 2013. Till date, it has covered about 50 villages.
2. Vinay Singh, Founder CEO, Vital Wires Consulting Pvt. Ltd., AgriMart-Agri Relationship Platform, India:
The app provides an agri relationship platform for food processors, commodity traders, adhatiyas and farmers. Its prime purpose of this app is to facilitate trade through inclusion effect. It aims at linking the manufacturers, traders, middlemen and farmers through a common platform. This platform will help in capitalizing the opportunities by different stakeholders by selling and buying produce at competitive prices. It has various modules like mandi purchase which provides a platform to manufacturers to dispense information to field agents about purchase requirements. Other modules include collection centre purchase, farmer outreach and contract farming/ plantation. It also has SAP integration for inventory, finance, production and costing.
3. Krishna Kumar, Founder & CEO, CropIn Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd., India: There is an information asymmetry which exists for the small and marginal farmers will results in decreased productivity. To overcome this a cloud based farm management solution was devised which provides real time solution and advise to the farmers. In case of any problem related to crops, farmers can send photos and audios to seek advice. The app also maps all the accompanying details for the crops like acres of cultivation, inputs required, weather conditions, soil types etc which aids the experts in delivering appropriate solutions. Farmers receive weather alerts, crop stage monitoring assistance, pesticides to be used for a particular soil type, etc. It enables the farmers to adopt the best global agricultural practices and make every crop traceable so as to ensure quality and export worthiness.
4. Apurva Bhandari, Founder , SankalpTaru- G1 ‘Plant A Tree’, India: The app provides an online platform where anyone from around the world can plant trees in regions of India that can benefit the most from the trees and their bearings. It has planted trees even in the hostile areas of Leh, Ladakh and Kargil. They work towards their mission to establish a greener India and to improve rural livelihood. In order to plant a tree, an Ecode has to be purchased through any of their online payment modes. The app then sends a notification to the ground operation team to plant the tree at desired location. It ensures visibility and transparency by capturing the photos and sending to the person who wanted to plant the tree. The app is also GPS enabled to locate the place where the tree has been planted. This application also gives an opportunity to the planters to calculate their carbon footprint and neutralize it.
5. Sudarshan K Suryawanshi, CEO, e-KrishakSahyogi, India: Considering the fact that majority of the farmers have cell-phones in India, this app was launched to dispense information to farmers about farm specific queries. It has been envisaged to address the problem of accessibility of useful and timely information by small and marginal farmers. Technical information is provided to the farmers through animation videos and multimedia slideshow videos. Also, they can access other relevant and timely information in the audio, pictures and text format. The content can be delivered in both online as well as offline mode. In pilot phase, the project has been rolled out in Jaipur district of Rajasthan, where it is working with 5000 vegetable growers.
6. Harshvardhan Mirajkar, Sr. Consultant NeGPA, Maha Krushi Sanchar (MKS) CUG, India: Farmers CUG plan was commenced by the Department of Agriculture, government of Maharashtra to empower farmers with affordable mobile connections. Special plan features were adopted which included free SMSs, free calls and data plans. The app gives a channel to the farmers to directly communicate with scientists and experts. It is equipped with SMS and advisory services. Famers get information about pest and input management, current prices of crops, weather conditions etc. It reduces the cost of communication among agriculture extension worker and farmers. It promotes networking among elite, awardee farmers, farming community and extension workers. It aids in free flow of information and technology between the CUG Group.
7. Mr. Ajay Kumar Kalavala, MD & CEO, Croplense, India: Farmers travel long distances to seek advice on crop issues. This results in wastage of productive time. The retail outlets visited by farmers are unaware of field conditions, have more footfalls but have paucity of information and expertise to recommend them. This app addresses the issues of farmers in cost-effective and timely manner. The app envisions bringing enterprises, farmers and field workers on a single platform to overcome the information gap. Farmers can send images, text and voice messages and share it with the forums to receive solutions and comments given by experts in real time to control the infestation and save the health of the crop.
8. Nancy Anabel, Programme Director, Information, Education and Communication, FisherFriend, India: Fishermen face many obstacles like uncertainty in weather conditions, dearth of real time information, spoilage of fishes and reduction in fish catch. Thus this app came into existence to aid the fisherman and enhance their economic status. It is a GPS app which records risk zones, draws own fishing routes etc. One of its features sends a beep sound to the fishermen when he is 5 km away from international borders. It helps fishermen folk by providing them real-time information coupled with forecasts comprising of wave height, wind speed and direction, and the intensity of rainfall to help them decide whether they should venture into the sea.
9. Guntuku Dileepkumar, Global Leader ICRISAT, Krishi Gyan Sagar and Krishi Vani- Powered by Green SIM, India: Krishi Gyan Sagar and Krishi Vani are financially sustainable ICT-mediated agro-advisory systems initiated by ICRISAT. The prime purpose of the apps is to bring affordable technologies, knowledge solutions, and availability of quality inputs, credit and insurance to the doorstep of smallholder farmers. Krishi Gyan Sagar provides personalized advisory services on correcting soil health deficiencies and fertilizer and pesticide recommendations to the farmers. The generic advisories to the group of farmers in a location are delivered through Krishi Vani in the form of free voice messages. Currently it is reaching out to 40,000 smallholder farmers in 171 villages situated in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
10. Anand Babu, Cofounder – Jayalaxmi Agro Tech, Agri apps for farmers from Jayalaxmi Agrotech, India: Farmers fail to get timely help which leads to crop loss. This app has a wide product portfolio which includes information on a gamut of fruits and vegetables. It can be transferred through Bluetooth. It has also developed apps for horticulture and animal husbandry in English and regional languages. The app has audio-visual content. For a particular crop it includes information about all the varieties grown and the locations, soil, weather, irrigation and fertilizers requirements. It gives reminders on when to apply fertilizers. It also provides information about micro-nutrient deficiencies and diseases. It aids in controlling diseases through analytical support system and decision support system.
11. Ranjan Yengkhom, Senior Technical Officer, C-DAC Mumbai, Intelligent Advisory System for farmers, India: It provides advisory services to the farming community in Northeastern states of India. It covers five major farming activities (Insect Management, Disease Management, Weed Management, Rice Variety Selection and Fertilizer Management) which required expert’s advice relating to diagnostic and remedial measures. It aims to strengthen existing agriculture extension services through mobile services. It sends push notifications and voice messages. Famers can send queries to experts. The queries are answered by experts and the information reaches the farmers through alerts. Presently, IASF is benefiting 1886 registered farmers in 6 districts of Meghalaya and 9 districts of Manipur. Thus, it helps in saving time, energy and money of the farmers.
12. Caddisfly, Ternup, India: It is a low quality water testing kit. It is portable, reasonably accurate, and easy to use on the field. It aims to help detect 5 major contaminants of water i.e. fluoride, nitrate, arsenic, E.Coli and turbidity
The panel discussed about the replicability and sustainability of the models and their integration on to a common platform to increase the benefits to the farming community.