The following guest post comes from Novices@Work, a team of finalists for the Imagine Cup Rural Innovation Award from India. They developed a site-specific crop-management system for farmers called Kalpvriksha. The system employs Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) to collect localized data on soil characteristics such as moisture, pH, ambient light and temperature. Using the data, Kalpvriksha makes recommendations on the ideal amounts of agro-inputs like water and fertilizers.
Agriculture is the way of life for people all over the world. When we made our solution, we first had in mind the 247 million people in India employed in agriculture, but we later realized that or solution has the potential to be scaled to any size or type of land holding that the farmer may own. The promise of sustainable agriculture resulting into a better standard of living for farmers is what made us participate in this category for the Imagine Cup.
Our technology, Kalpvriksha, not only addresses the problems of food shortage and the depletion of arable land, but also rural development by making the farmer aware of recent technologies and practices that can better his farming methods and help him make optimum use of his meager resources and minimize wastage. We feel our technology can make a big difference if given the chance.
We have taken the first steps towards turning our idea into reality. We underwent an Incubation training workshop for technology commercialization at Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship. We have interacted with various experts in the fields of social entrepreneurship, agricultural sciences, soil sciences, hardware manufacturing and others. Additionally, the Agricultural Ministry of State of Gujarat has been extremely helpful and is ready to extend their support to us in the future. With all this backing, we plan to take Kalpvriksha from theory… to practice!
Video: Kalpvriksha Demo