CHANDIGARH: The farmers seemed much inquisitive about air sampler, electrostatic sprayer, Artificial Intelligence, e-apps, drones, rain gauge, android app, farm-management products, weather management services, their benefits and how to deploy these technological advancements.
As these were showcased by multifarious companies, both domestic and international at the Innovators' Pavilion at the CII Agro Tech India 2018 here thus bringing along a variety of technological solutions.
As farmers asked the concerned representatives on how to use this technology and how will it benefit them. Farmers also agreed that innovation is the key to the next level of reforms in production and income. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Ropar, has put up on display many products, one of which was 'Smart integrated irrigation and energy management system'.
Talking about this innovative system, Dr Vikrant Bhakar, from IIT Ropar, said, "This product helps convert extra power from solar to AC through an inverter and the farmer can save up to 7,560 units of power per year, and earn a good amount of money, if he decides to sell this power."
The Institute has also displayed products for keeping fruits and vegetables fresh for two to three days; for peeling off peas; and Agri Marketing-App.
"We are the technology partner for a project on 'Sustainable Food Supply Chain Systems and Water Management', being undertaken in collaboration with the University of Cambridge," Bhakar added. 'Innovation is Great' - so goes the tagline of the pavilion of the United Kingdom (UK).
There are multiple companies which have brought along their innovative products in the streams of pre and post-harvest management. Nextek has developed a hydrogen-based film to increase the shelf-life of the agri-produce.
Speaking of the product, Professor Edward Kosior, Managing Director, Nextek said, "Our packaging has the capacity to reduce water loss and stop condensation, hence the life of the agri-products increases. We are undertaking this project in collaboration with India and ten companies from both the countries are engaged in research, development and testing."
Ardra Systems has displayed their soil sensors, which release water when required, saving the wastage of water. PBD Biotech has developed a revolutionary kit to identify bacteria in a cow's milk, which will work for disease prevention.
Also, countries like Canada, China, Israel and Netherlands also have displayed many innovative products in grain storage management, biosystems, genetics, disease control.
Khristein Water, co-founder of Sponnado, a Canada based company which has developed an air sampler says, "these products cost Rs 16,000 and will give the farmer advance warning from one to two weeks that there is fungal infection in his crop be it potato, tomato and other crops and thus the farmer will be able to take remedial measures and spray accordingly. It will cover an area of 50 to 100 acres thus a group of farmers or village can buy this system. There is small device in this sampler which will collect the sample and that has to be send to the laboratory for testing and thus from the test one will be clear which kind of fungal infection,'' she says.
Tech giant Microsoft also endeavors to make companies and farmers aware of their B2B solution which is a cloud-enabled 'Special Purpose Agri-specific Platform'.
A representative of Microsoft shared that the app-based system will help the pharmaceutical companies, farm equipment companies, seed companies to gather information about the ground and weather conditions to send an advisory to the farmers about when to spray pesticides when to sow the seeds.
"Research and testing is on for this product, and it will be made available globally by next year," he said.
Pramod Rajan, Head - Research and Development, International Tractors Limited (Sonalika Group) said, "For real ground-level adoption of technology, there needs to be a two-way communication between the business and the end-user. Just showcasing technology is never enough; it needs to be made available at the ground level."