Engg graduates developed ‘smart system’ for farmers
BENGALURU: After hearing about farmers’ issues regularly and wanting to do something about it, two engineering graduates have developed a system that can help Indian farmers overcome issues they usually face.
Prakhar Vignesh and Praveen Kumar, who recently completed Engineering in Electronics and Communication from MVJ College of Engineering, Bengaluru, designed an ‘agriculture monitoring system’ as part of their final year project at the college. The system can help farmers in three ways — track the amount of irrigation time, give an estimate of the amount of nutrients present in the soil and eliminate middlemen in the sale of crops.
Speaking about the project, Prakhar said that the issues farmers face are well documented, with one of them being the difficulty of providing accurate irrigation to crops when the power supply is not very reliable. “For instance, a farmer might start the motor for irrigation at 2 pm and then return at 3 pm to switch it off. He assumes it has worked for an hour, but there could be power cuts in between. Sometimes, he might delay switching off the motor and hence over-irrigate the crops,” he said. The system developed by the students makes sure that the stored water level is accurately distributed as per the programme scheduled by the farmer.
The second aspect of the system gives an estimate of the soil’s fertility by measuring its pH value, which is a measure of a substance’s acidity. While sensors to measure content of specific nutrients in soil are available, they cost anywhere between `45,000-`50,000, and Praveen says they wanted to build a system which would be affordable to farmers. The pH value sensor is much cheaper and provides an estimate of the soil’s fertility, which helps farmers decide which crops to grow and how much fertilisers to use.
The third aspect of the system helps farmers buy agriculture products and sell crops online, thus eliminating middlemen. The system has been integrated with the well known website www.kisanpoint.com. The duo has built a prototype which they have thoroughly tested.
As Prakhar and Praveen repeatedly focused on making the product affordable, they were able to build the whole system at a cost of only `1,000.