GrowSmart

Sense, Cultivate and Thrive

"Alpha box" that estimates exact quantity & time of application of irrigation, fertilizers etc, increasing yields at a lower cost.

Use Case

In developing countries like India, Africa, South Asia and parts of North America, the farming methods are still traditional and outdated. Farmers do not have the technical know-how for most efficient land usage in order to obtain maximum crop yield at minimum investment and least environmental impact. Using services of GrowSmart, farmers will know the exact quantity and time of application of irrigation, fertilizers and pesticides. They can plan agricultural operations such as harvesting more effectively since they have access to any weather condition which may act as an impediment otherwise. Farmers can also send us pictures of their crops infected with any disease. Our agricultural experts will suggest appropriate measures for the crop disease.

Potential

GrowSmart aims at increasing crop yields per hectare by 40% & augment farmers’ profitability by 35%.Farmers will now be aware about the right time for agricultural operations based on the farm specific requirement and weather information conveyed by us.Our vision is to ensure long-term productivity of soil by mitigating environmental impacts due to over-dosage of irrigation, fertilizers & pesticides. In India where 85% farmers practise traditional farming methods resulting in low farm productivity. GrowSmart is using advanced data analysis for improved farm management. With increasing food demands of a burgeoning population and soaring farmer suicide rates in developing countries (3,000 in last 3 years in India), GrowSmart will spur desired socio-economic change in the society.

Business Case

We are adopting commission model for monetization where farmers will be subscribing to our services and sharing 25% of their augmented revenue. Our major investment is on developing Alpha box but since we will be using one equipment per village, the cost gets distributed making our operations sustainable and profitable. Our marketing strategy relies on an on-ground sales team and referrals by farmers that will be incentivized. We will be collaborating with NGOs and local government bodies for spreading awareness about our concept.

Objectives:

  1. Increasing crop yields per hectare by 40%, simultaneously saving money spent on fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation by 35%.
  2. Improving financial stability of farmers to mitigate farmer suicides and making agriculture a lucrative business again.
  3. Reducing environmental impacts due to over-dosage of irrigation, fertilizers & pesticides and improving the overall productivity of land.

Team GrowSmart

Kharagpur, India

Our Team

Final Product Pics / Published January 13, 2016 by Gaurav Jain

Final Product Pics

Here are pics of us assembling our final device. The disassembling video is coming soon. If you want to read more about the technology aspects of the solution, have a look at the posts below.

The Technology behind Alpha box – Nutrient Sensor and Spectrometer

Alpha box consists multiple sensors, some are available in the market while others have been developed by our team at IIT Kharagpur. This blog post will explain the technology behind the two major developments done by us: The nutrient analyzer and the spectrometer.

1. Nutrient analyzer:- It is based on ISFET technology that can detect various Ion concentrations based of electric field theory with each element having a characteristic curve. With this sensor, we can detect the concentration of ions like Nitrogen and phosphorous in the soil which is available to the plant for absorption. This can only detect elements in the ionic form and which is an advantage to us as the concentration of ions has a better correlation with the amount of element available for absorption by the plant than the total amount of that element in the soil.

2. Spectrometer: This is based out of the concept of spectrometer that has been used by cosmologists to find out the chemical fingerprint of the stars and galaxies and also in chemical labs to find out the chemical signature of a solution. We have developed further on the Near Infrared Spectroscopy and come up with a low-cost solution that operates (detects) in the required frequency range of 900nm to 2300nm by customizing modern IR sensors. This technology allows us to estimate the health and requirement of the plant without event touching the plant and can also be used for soil, but it is better optimized for the plants than the soil. This allows us to identify real-time demand of nutrients and supply accordingly, saving on costs due of overuse of fertilizers and also prevents from loss of yield due to under utilizing fertilizers.

This was a brief glimpse into the technology behind two of the most important components of our Alpha box.

Farmer's review on GrowSmart / Published January 11, 2016 by Gaurav Jain

Farmer's review on GrowSmart

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2qozBnVeyQ

The video interview of farmer from Maharashtra India (near our pilot in Satara), more than 1800Kms away from Kharagpur

GrowSmart at Hult PAN India / Published January 10, 2016 by Gaurav Jain

GrowSmart at Hult PAN India

Two members of GrowSmart - Gaurav and Darshita represented GrowSmart at Hult Prize PAN India event at IIM Ahmadabad.

Prof. Swain on results of our pilot testing at IIT Kharagpur / Published January 2, 2016 by Gaurav Jain

Prof. Swain on results of our pilot testing at IIT Kharagpur

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cY-_TjCMaYQ

Prof. Swain discussing the scope of Growsmart and the results of pilot testing done by us over the past few months. Watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cY-_TjCMaYQ

Our Mission

Our mission is to alleviate global food security problem by increasing crop yields manifold to meet the demands of a burgeoning population. We also aim at ameliorating the financial stability of farmers by empowering them to be more knowledgeable about their soil, and thereby more resource‐efficient and profitable. Our initiative will also be generating employment opportunities for the youth and spurring socio‐economic change in the society. Management of soil health is a serious challenge for agricultural growth. Despite this fact, its importance is not widely known. Currently, soil testing is an expensive and time‐consuming service. Due to lack of awareness and expenses involved, many farmers refrain from using such services. Our work is focused on the development of a robust and inexpensive soil testing and information feedback system that will help in optimizing irrigation and fertilizer and pesticide usage. Our service includes soil testing using temperature sensors, humidity sensors, spectrometers. The data collected will be processed in our labs. This information will be sent to the farmer through message service or through our employee in the village. This way farmers will get an accurate guidance for amount of irrigation, fertilizer or pesticide dosage.

Our Background

We are a team from diverse backgrounds passionately striving to solve the problem of food security in the world. Apurva who is a Khorana Scholar is pursuing a major in Agricultural and Food Engineering. He did research internship at Cornell University in the field of food modelling. His knowledge in the field of precision farming is an asset to the team. Gaurav is Hult Prize 2015 San Francisco Finalist. He is pursuing major in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering. He has been placed at leading consulting firm, Ernst & Young.He is contributing on business strategy and data analysis fronts. Darshita, a Civil & Environmental Engineering major, is studying environmental impacts of over application of irrigation,fertilizers and pesticides on farms. Ankit who is pursuing a major in Chemical Engineering has worked extensively in the field of embedded electronics. He is responsible for developing the alpha-box. Soundarya, a Rural Technology and Social Development major is formulating our marketing and entry strategy. With technology and entrepreneurship combined with a zeal for solving the biggest challenge of food security, we are inspired to take up the challenge for greater good.

Final Product Pics / Published January 13, 2016 by Gaurav Jain

Final Product Pics

Here are pics of us assembling our final device. The disassembling video is coming soon. If you want to read more about the technology aspects of the solution, have a look at the posts below.

The Technology behind Alpha box – Nutrient Sensor and Spectrometer

Alpha box consists multiple sensors, some are available in the market while others have been developed by our team at IIT Kharagpur. This blog post will explain the technology behind the two major developments done by us: The nutrient analyzer and the spectrometer.

1. Nutrient analyzer:- It is based on ISFET technology that can detect various Ion concentrations based of electric field theory with each element having a characteristic curve. With this sensor, we can detect the concentration of ions like Nitrogen and phosphorous in the soil which is available to the plant for absorption. This can only detect elements in the ionic form and which is an advantage to us as the concentration of ions has a better correlation with the amount of element available for absorption by the plant than the total amount of that element in the soil.

2. Spectrometer: This is based out of the concept of spectrometer that has been used by cosmologists to find out the chemical fingerprint of the stars and galaxies and also in chemical labs to find out the chemical signature of a solution. We have developed further on the Near Infrared Spectroscopy and come up with a low-cost solution that operates (detects) in the required frequency range of 900nm to 2300nm by customizing modern IR sensors. This technology allows us to estimate the health and requirement of the plant without event touching the plant and can also be used for soil, but it is better optimized for the plants than the soil. This allows us to identify real-time demand of nutrients and supply accordingly, saving on costs due of overuse of fertilizers and also prevents from loss of yield due to under utilizing fertilizers.

This was a brief glimpse into the technology behind two of the most important components of our Alpha box.

Farmer's review on GrowSmart / Published January 11, 2016 by Gaurav Jain

Farmer's review on GrowSmart

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2qozBnVeyQ

The video interview of farmer from Maharashtra India (near our pilot in Satara), more than 1800Kms away from Kharagpur

GrowSmart at Hult PAN India / Published January 10, 2016 by Gaurav Jain

GrowSmart at Hult PAN India

Two members of GrowSmart - Gaurav and Darshita represented GrowSmart at Hult Prize PAN India event at IIM Ahmadabad.

Prof. Swain on results of our pilot testing at IIT Kharagpur / Published January 2, 2016 by Gaurav Jain

Prof. Swain on results of our pilot testing at IIT Kharagpur

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cY-_TjCMaYQ

Prof. Swain discussing the scope of Growsmart and the results of pilot testing done by us over the past few months. Watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cY-_TjCMaYQ

Our Team

Our Mission

Our mission is to alleviate global food security problem by increasing crop yields manifold to meet the demands of a burgeoning population. We also aim at ameliorating the ...Read More

Our Background

We are a team from diverse backgrounds passionately striving to solve the problem of food security in the world. Apurva who is a Khorana Scholar is pursuing a ...Read More

The information contained here represents student project ideas developed as the result of brainstorming activities during Round 1 of the TFF Challenge. It does not represent any final business plans or commercial products.