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  • Team ThinkAg

Proximal SoilSens

Updated: Aug 10, 2020


Proximal SoilSens’ single focus is on the sustainability of farming.  Established in 2017, SoilSens strives to empower farmers with affordable and innovative patented sensors and IoT technologies. SoilSens technologies was innovated at IIT Bombay with funding from DST-MeitY, BIRAC, and Millennium Alliance. We have deployed about 100 systems across three different states so far. These sensors allow the generation of AI/ML-based solutions, which result in an overall transformation of farmers from traditional agriculture to precision agriculture. Whether there is abundant or scarce water, controlled irrigation is beneficial in both cases.

SoliSens products are cost-effective, highly reliable with personalized service support. The products perform on-par in terms of accuracy, power requirement, response time, and are comparable to any popular commercial systems. Our products are lightweight, easy to install and use, and are designed keeping in mind the social-economic condition of farmers of developing countries.

Sensors collect site-specific information about soil, weather, and crops. The GPS provides location intelligence thereby assisting farmers in gathering site-specific information which helps in applying the optimum fertilizer or water to deficit sites with accuracy.

Case study

We have done deployments across various crops and various soils and at various depths (root zone). The efficiency of water usage was improved by 27.5% and crop yield was enhanced by 7% for green gram. For potato, improvement in yield was by 20%. For citrus, saving in water by 22%. Early detection of powdery mildew in grapes was also demonstrated. This can be extended to various crops.

Crop- Citrus

Place- Maharashtra

25% water saving, 20% of electricity saving; Improvement in yield & quality

Crop- Greengram

Place- Gujarat

27% water saving, 20% of electricity saving; 7.5% increase in yield & quality

Crop- Potato

Place- Gujarat

22% water saving; 20% increase in yield & quality

Current products

Comparison with remote sensing

As evident from Proximal SoilSens' experiment on comparison of satellite data with two nearby farm data from sensors, It is visible that two nearby fields can have different soil moisture values but remote sensing using satellite will not be able to capture that fine resolution.  

Irrigation automation

Proximal SoilSens experiment of irrigation automation based on the sensor data of soil moisture in one of the garden showed significant saving in water and electricity. It also allowed gardeners to use their skills for better tasks rather than irrigating the lawn.

Future Products

SoilSens in collaboration with IIT Bombay is currently building a lab-on-a-farm platform aimed at farmers getting a more accurate and scientific recommendation and amendment for fertilizers required for the farm specific to crops.  Lab-on-a-farm technology will include critical parameters such as primary nutrients, secondary nutrients, pH, EC (Electrical conductivity) and OC (Organic carbon). Current methods are time-consuming and expensive and results are not available in time.  With the introduction of lab-on-a-farm, the soil analysis for these parameters will be carried out onsite in real-time at an affordable rate. This will encourage agri-preneurs at village level.

Brief profile of the Founder

Dr. Rajul Patkar is the Founder & CEO of Proximal SoilSens, a  company working on state-of-the-art technological solutions to positively impact Indian agriculture. Rajul received the B.Tech. degree from Andhra University in 1991, and the M.Tech. degree in communications and the Ph.D. degree from IIT Bombay, in 1996 and 2017, respectively, while working on various research projects simultaneously. Since then, she has worked on many industry and government agency sponsored projects in areas of reconfigurable computing, embedded systems, robotics, VLSI chip design, FPGA prototyping, MEMS / NEMS fabrication and bio-sensing. She has been working on low cost sensor devices for point of care applications in agriculture. Her dream is to bring affordable technologies to farmers and help improve their economic condition. She has 4 filed applications for Indian patents and 1 granted US patent.

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