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Saturday, April 17, 2021

    IITG start-up develops AI-based Multilingual Smartphone Application for Farmers

    Some of the major breakthroughs were a precise prediction of BLIGHT IN POTATO and TEA MOSQUITO BUG, along with WATER STRESS in winter crops

    GUWAHATI: AgSpert, an agri-tech startup, co-founded by the students of IIT Guwahati, and alumni of NIT Silchar and Dibrugarh University, Assam, has developed AgSpeak, a multi-lingual smartphone application for farmers to smartly manage their farms and remotely monitor distress activities.

    Developed with the goal of optimizing the in-farm productivity through Artificial Intelligence (AI), this application will help the farmers in making decisions and managing farm activities by the click of a single button on their smartphone or computer.

    AgSpert is leading this initiative in North-Eastern India which has untapped potential, with diverse ecosystems having agriculture as the major economic activity.

    The developed application is multi-lingual and has an option of Assamese as well. This feature is a first among all the agri-tech applications available in the market.

    Driven by hyper-local crop data coming from satellite and smart IoT devices, AgSpeak considers up to 20 local crop parameters which are key indicators of their health like temperature, rainfall, sunlight hours, soil health status, among others, to alert farmers about probable crop threats in advance and suggest best practices to tackle the incoming threat, hence optimizing the resources used and maximizing productivity.

    The app along with the IoT hardware has been tested for the past three months with 500 farmers and two tea estates.

    Some of the major breakthroughs by the algorithm were a precise prediction of BLIGHT IN POTATO and TEA MOSQUITO BUG, along with WATER STRESS in winter crops. These are major reasons of woes to farmers and small tea growers of Assam and cause lakhs in crop damages if not controlled in time.

    Major commercial users of the product include commercial plantation farms (tea, lemon orchards, grape vineyards).

    Nearly 250 farmers have already been provided hands-on training in utilizing the full potential of the app. However, the user-friendliness and multilingual features of the app make it extremely easy for farmers to use and seldom require training. 

    The mobile app is completely free for general small farmers. There are in-app purchases like soil testing and agri-doctor consultation. Besides this, the IoT devices can be rented for monthly /yearly purposes by commercial farms to further enhance precision farm management.  It has been tested with many farmers and its practical utility established.


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