The Innovators’ Pavilion at the CII Agro Tech India 2018 was thronged by farmers on the second day. With multifarious companies, both domestic and international, bringing along a variety of technological advancements, the farmers seemed much inquisitive about their benefits and how to deploy such solutions. Electrostatic sprayer, Artificial Intelligence, E-apps, Drones, Rain gauge, Android App, farm-management products, weather management services, among other things were showcased.
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 2-3 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,” Mr Bhakar added.
‘Innovation is Great’ – so goes the tagline of 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 10 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.
Countries like Canada, China, Israel and Netherlands also have displayed many innovative products in grain storage management, biosystems, genetics, disease control etc.
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 etc to gather information about the ground and weather conditions to send advisory to the farmers about when to spray pesticides, when to sow the seeds etc. “Research and testing is on for this product, and it will be made available globally by next year,” he said.
Farmers also do agree that innovation is the key to the next level of reforms in production and income.