IFFCO Kisan and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) have come together to jointly promote hi-tech farming practices for the farmers in Gujarat.

A pilot has been proposed to empower 1000+ farmers with the data-driven precision farming solutions and 10 demo hi-tech farms set up to gather intelligence on the farm in terms of hyperlocal weather information, soil and leaf moisture levels, digital information on farm assets, nutrient conditions etc.

Based on the intelligence gathered, a decision support system is developed, such as satellite imagery-based vegetation index, pest and diseases emergence alert systems, IoT driven auto irrigation and fertigation systems, pest and image recognition system.

Clusterization of 1000 farms is done in a manner that one of the 10 hi-tech farms has sample representation of all farms. Thus, the intelligence gathered in those 10 farms may be utilized to benefit the rest of the farms.

A timely and actionable alert system, the advisory system is integrated on all above IoT systems installed on the farm in order to generate alerts and decision supports across the stakeholders (farmers, partners, agro-experts).

The joint objective of both the partners is to build capacity and support the farmers with hi-tech precision farming systems. Showcase the benefit of such systems to eventually look at doubling the farmers’ income over a period of time by working on twin engines of reducing the cost of inputs and increasing the yield per acre per farm.

National Agriculture and Rural development finance institute owned by Govt of India, NABARD to produce Potatoes, Papaya, Castor, Tomatoes, Sugarcane, Tobacco, etc. covering over 30 Villages with 1000+ farms in Vadgam and Deesa taluka of Banaskantha district, Gujrat that started in Rabi season for 24 months (4 seasons).

The purpose of the project is to educate and make the farmers aware of the new technology resulting in increased efficiency of the farmers that will help them in shaping their future by rendering them empowered.

Training and education empower farmers to reduce the cultivation cost and increase the production by deploying better use of resources, thus, giving a boost to economic growth it can alleviate the positioning of the country as a key player in the global market.

Under this project, the farmers are divided into 4 Clusters to be digitally profiled from remote monitoring of Farm activities.

Some of the key approaches that are using

  • Pops being practices
  • Crop health status
  • Hyperlocal weather forecasting
  • Proactive pest & disease management.

25% of the equipment cost and installation to be borne by the farm owners. Build intelligence on farming practice in smart farms. Use the learnings and actionable for farmers in the vicinity.

Reverse Image Recognition Engine:

The system is capable of triggering different advisories to individuals based on the image uploaded (through App), so if an image is uploaded from farm 1, an automated advisory (in voice and SMS form) is delivered directly to the farmers’ mobile number stating the disease, pest occurrence, its severity while suggesting solutions as well.

This feature may be of immense benefit for illiterate farmers, as one just needs to take an image of their diseased plant and submit, eventually, a farm-based personalized advisory is generated directly on his phone on a near-real-time basis in their local language.

For Pests & Diseases, IFFCO Kisan has trained pest and disease algorithms for many horticulture and commercial crops which functions primarily with dynamic weather data points to predict the emergence of various pests and diseases in the farm allowing the farmers to tackle the issue at a very early stage.

Satellite Imagery Analysis

The satellite imagery analysis stack ensures visibility of farms on a large scale where a range of indicators depicting the farm health is generated through the platform. Indicators are further derived to offer actionable advisories for ease of understanding of farmers such as zone wise plant stress in the farm, zone wise nitrogen prescription, soil moisture content, soil organic carbon matter, etc.

The satellite imagery analytical platform also helps our farm scouts to plan their roster better as now they can prioritize their farm visits based on the stress patterns visible to them.

USP of Technology used:

  1. Rich Actionable features- It is majorly based on Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning leveraging tools like NDVI, Satellite imagery, Farm visits, Image Mapping, Geo-fencing, Pest/disease diagnosis, etc. could be easily applied to any of the related/allied fields.
  2. Largest Content library- IFFCO Kisan has the largest content library on all major and minor crops in Agri-allied industries. It contains more than 550 major topics in 10 local languages for around 100 Agro-climatic zones
  3. End-to-End looping Ecosystem creation- The model witnesses the journey of a crop from farm to table. Creating and taking care of all the associated factors in the ecosystem
  4. Diligent and swift integrity- The model can be integrated and modified according to the need and the requirement with the highest level of accuracy in almost no-time
  5. Scalability- This could be replicated for any number of farmers/rural population without creating any major changes/Infrastructure. This model also supports post-harvest and agri-processing with a data-driven approach. Hence, ensuring industry supportive manufacturing.
  6. Sustainability- As the model is more towards capacity building and training of the stakeholders using the available technologies, it is not difficult to be handled and could be taken forward independently by trained stakeholders.

IFFCO Kisan’s core agenda has always been benefiting farmers through various initiatives focusing critically on providing timely and actionable advisories in order to help them make informed decisions. Largely, the company has focused on empowering the farmers on crop production or backward linkages end through its various services in which technology is now playing a major role.

Challenges that farmers face during the process:

–        Lack of relevant farm weather source

–        High prevalence of pest and disease in horticulture crops

–        Growing cash crops in large farm sizes

–        Uncertain weather conditions, labour intensive and dependent farming

Expected results from this project are:

  • Establish a traceable and smart IoT based platform at a scale
  • Timely and actionable advisory system for all 1000 farms
  • May increase yield by 5 to 10% in the upcoming two cropping seasons
  • Minimize water and electricity use by 10%

Through technology, IFFCO Kisan works towards fulfilling the needs of the farmers at various crop cycle-stages. Implementation of such technology may help the farmers to reduce the cost of inputs, sensitization on MRL levels, promote usage of less harmful chemicals, application of chemicals at an appropriate time, dosage, etc. leading them to grow quality products with reduced production cost.