Former NASA scientist develops affordable sensors to boost crop productions

The sensors that cost Rs 10000 will help farmers understand fertiliser and its usage and irrigation depending on the current weather condition, Parag Narvekar said.

Published: 14th July 2021 12:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th July 2021 12:58 PM   |  A+A-

Farmers work in fields

Representational Image (File Photo | Express)


NASHIK: With an aim to boost crops production in India, an ex-NASA scientist, Parag Narvekar has developed an affordable sensor in Nashik. The sensor, which used to cost Rs 1.5 lakh each, can now be availed at Rs 10,000 by the farmers in the country.

"It'll help farmers understand fertiliser and its usage and irrigation depending on the current weather condition," he said on Tuesday.

"There is a lot of agriculture technology in countries like the US and in Europe to deal with crop production in accordance with the global climate change. However, there was no such technology available in India," Narvekar told ANI.

"After working at NASA, I decided that I should do something for my country. Agriculture is the backbone of the country. The farmers cannot afford such technology, hence I experimented to develop an affordable technology. Finally, I executed the plan last year," he added.

"The sensors could help recognize suitable timings for irrigation in accordance with the weather, decisions that farmers could take for better crop quality, fertilizers that can be used, medicines for crops, and agricultural practises that can be followed," said Narvekar.

"The newly-developed sensors could also be used in weather forecasting through satellite data sets. The sensors can be linked with agro advisory to add up the updates on weather developments. If the farmers put the sensors at their farms, they could assess the weather of the nearby areas," Narvekar added.

Narvekar experimented with the technology and developed the sensor at Sahyadri Farms with the help of its Chief Managing Director, Vilas Shinde.

There was a need for standard quality sensors from six to seven years, said Shinde.

"We wanted to create a sensor that could given data accuracy along with affordability. We worked on the sensor for the last three years. The sensors could be placed on the farm or at the farmer's place, instead of the old sensors that could be placed only at the village level, added Shinde.

Talking about the benefits of the sensor and how it is proving to be helpful, Ramesh Gunja, a farmer working at the Sahyadri Farm said, "We can understand about the rain prediction and its percentage in advance and can prepare ourselves accordingly. This also helps us know the medicine to be sprayed on the crops. We get the confidence before taking decisions to proceed with our work and wastage can be avoided due to the rain. We can make sure that the right thing goes at right time." 


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