BHUBANESWAR: Farmers facing crop failure, mostly due to pest attacks, have a ray of hope to save their produce. A Class XI student has developed a device that can alert even an uneducated farmer about pest and bacteria attacks.
‘Kishan Know’, the device, has been developed by 16-year-old Rishikesh Amit Nayak of DAV Public School, Chandrasekharpur. The device functions on realtime data to detect bacteria, fungi and virus in crops using the Internet of Things (IOT) to arrive at a micro-level solution.
“The device has been prepared by incorporating a Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication module, a chip of circuit that can be used to establish communication and a thermal camera,” said Nayak.
Stating that reasons behind crop failure are many but the most common is pest attack, Nayak said with the device a farmer would have to move around the field, particularly in the perimeter where the pest attacks occur first, to take thermal images of the crops.
“He would need to do the exercise twice, once in the morning and another in the evening and send the data for analysis. If any change is found in the plant temperature, it would indicate certain pest or bacteria attack in the field enabling the farmer to undertake remedial measures,” he explained.
Amit consulted experts at Odisha University for Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) before developing the device. He focused on bacteria as it accounted for 80 per cent of the crop loss. The prototype of the device costs around `1,500.
The idea for developing one such device germinated when he used to his grandfather, a farmer, depressed due to crop failure. “My grandfather is a farmer and I have seen him depressed whenever he faces crop failure. It motivated me to go deep into the problem and find a solution that can alert farmers about a possible pest attack so that they can save their crops,” Nayak said and added that he had applied for patenting his device.
The device was on display at a recent exhibition organised by Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota and SOA University to commemorate the birth centenary of legendary scientist Vikram Sarabhai.