- Team ThinkAg
Soil Sathi - Data Driven Doorstep Agri Advisory
Updated: Feb 28, 2022
Gopal of Hugli (WB), Banbari of Araria (Bihar) and Bhaushaeb of Nasik (MH) have one thing in common. They now have access to scientific farming, thanks to the local soil testing laboratory and advisory services by their fellow villager. This has been possible with Soil Sathi device and Arogyam Krishi portal, developed by Arogyam Medisoft Solution Pvt. Ltd.
Today, many farmers like Gopal, Banbari or Bhaushaeb across India, Central Africa and Nepal are reaping the benefit of this patented technology and practicing data driven scientific agriculture thereby being able to-
A. Choose soil appropriate crop – Seed selection
B. Optimise cost - Farm input Advisory
C. Crop protection – Disease Control
This practice gifts them with better quality and yield of their produce. With the organized data on the cultivation undertaken, the local FPCs are being able to plan the credit and market linkages in advance.
As a way of introduction, Arogyam Medisoft Solution Pvt. Ltd. (www.arogyammedisoft.com) is a Biotech company developing IoT solutions in healthcare and agriculture supported by NABARD.
The company is promoted by IIT-IIM alumni and managed by professional from diverse fields comprising of PhD in Agronomy, Biotech, Life Science, Biochemistry, Pharma, Product Engineering, and Finance.
The solution offerings in Agriculture include Devices, Test Consumables and Data Driven advisory services.
Soil Sathi is an IoT enabled, lightweight, battery-operated soil & water analysis device with an ability to test 23 parameters and have interface in regional language available.
The device operates on a patented technology with a combination of sensors, computer vision and AI and can store the result in cloud when connected to internet. The effectiveness of this new method of analysis was tested and validated at an ICAR- KVK and a DST-DBT (GoI) funded Institute of Biotechnology, which is a recognised Scientific & Industrial Research Organization by DSIR, GoI.
Currently, the available test consumables include Macro and Micro parameters in Soil and 10 required parameters in water for aqua culture.
The online portal Arogyam Krishi can record key information on soil and crop enabling data driven advisory on precision agriculture and plant disease control. The AI generated advisory are supervised by in house agronomist before releasing for remote sharing.
Thus, the complete solution has 5 components:
1. A portable IoT device and test consumables for onsite testing of soil and water.
2. Online advice on fertilizers and disease control in Indian languages.
3. Geo-tagging Land information.
4. Data collection and storage on remote cloud-based servers for scientific farming advisory whenever necessary
5. Soil Map generation.
The operations of the device can be seen using the link https://youtu.be/7o1zeWNNiUM
"It is often seen that soil or water can easily be made cultivation friendly through the use of some basic chemicals or fertilisers. So, the device is a small but significant stride in revolutionising the concept of agriculture," said a senior CADC official.
The innovation is showcased at Agnii portal ( www.agnii.gov.in ) of Principal Scientific Advisor of Govt. of India. The solution was selected for a conclave for Smart Agriculture by Niti Aayog, India and at a round table on Future of Farming. The product has been adopted and piloted for comprehensive area development by the Govt of West Bengal and used in the RKVY project by Bidhan Chandra Krishi Vishwavidyalaya.
Soil Sathi is recognized and promoted by NABARD Foundation for use by the FPO/FPCs across the country. A NABARD sponsored program on potato cultivation could reduce 20% farm input by using of Arogyam Krishi advisory based on test results from Soil Sathi.
Agri startups, promoting scientific farming with an aim to increase farm productivity, have adopted Soil Sathi based testing service. One such user said “Soil testing is a sought-after service and had been a pain point in providing it when required. With the services from Arogyam, we could integrate the test results in our portal and share it with our farmer base in local language. This has helped us in maintaining a good touch point with them.”
A large plantation in Central Africa uses Soil Sathi Solution for maintaining produce quality through data driven application of plant supplements. With the solution they can now have assessment of the soil quality whenever required in the plantation itself. The data being stored in cloud server helps them in monitoring the soil quality from one location.
Dr. M V Rao, Additional Chief Secretary of Panchayats and Rural Development department tweeted that Soil Sathi – way forward for precision agriculture! all CADC projects spread across 23 districts in the state have initiated soil and water testing with Soil Sathi mobile application. "10,500 farmers soil samples tested, advice given on fertilisers, nutrients," tweeted Dr Rao.
"It is often seen that soil or water can easily be made cultivation friendly through the use of some basic chemicals or fertilisers. So, the device is a small but significant stride in revolutionising the concept of agriculture," said a senior CADC official. He added that, with the rapid depletion of groundwater, water conservation has assumed importance, so the time has come for us to take up cultivation of crops that require less quantity of water. We have successfully cultivated millet that requires much less water in Purulia and the Hills. Under these circumstances, the soil testing has assumed prime importance.
To cater to the rapid growth in adoption and addressing the learnings from the Covid19 years, Arogyam Medisoft Solution has developed means for remote deployment of the devices. It has created digital instruction manuals and videos and made them available at its digital platform and YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCasanfLilFC9VDycKyv9tug). The materials can be accessed and used for product unpacking or for troubleshooting with 24X7 availability. All the trainings are deliverable online with audio visual materials developed in house. Additionally, dedicated WhatsApp channels are created for each customer group for operational assistance if required. All deployments since 2020 in India and abroad has been accomplished through online mode.
Seed companies, Plantations (Large and small growers), Agri startups, FPCs, Agriculture Institutes (national & international), Government bodies are using Soil Sathi and Arogyam Krishi Solution for data driven decision making processes in their respective fields of application in Agriculture.
The solution is being currently being exported for use in Central Africa, Nepal and Sri Lanka.