IIT-Guwahati develops AgSpeak to help farmers manage crops
Students of IIT Guwahati and alumni of NIT Silchar and Dibrugarh Universities in Assam have developed a multi-lingual smartphone application, AgSpeak, for farmers to manage their crops
Guwahati: Students of IIT Guwahati and alumni of NIT Silchar and Dibrugarh Universities in Assam have developed a multi-lingual smartphone application, AgSpeak, for farmers to manage their crops. The agri-tech start-up which is free for small farmers has been developed with the goal of optimising in-farm productivity through Artificial Intelligence (AI), a press release issued by IIT, Guwahati said.
The start-up has been co-founded by Siddhartha Bora (NIT Silchar alumnus), Manik Mittal (IIT Guwahati student), Akash Sharma (IIT Guwahati student), Nitin Chauhan (IIT Guwahati student), Dhritiman Talukdar (NIT Silchar alumnus), and Kookil Pran Goswami (Dibrugarh University alumnus).
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. IIT Director Prof T G Sitharam said that it is a matter of immense pride that "our students are working to bring out a state-of-the-art technology for the farmers of our country".
'AgSpeak' is multilingual and has an option of Assamese and this feature is a first among all the agri-tech applications available in the market, the release said. The application 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 problems, hence optimising the resources used and maximising productivity.
The app along with the Internet of Things (IOT) hardware has been tested for the past three months with 500 farmers and two tea estates and some of the major breakthroughs were precise prediction about blights in potoatoes, tea mosquito bug along with water stress in winter crops which are a major concern for farmers and can cause major crop damages, if not controlled in time, the release said.
Nearly 250 farmers have already been provided hands on training in utilising the full potential of the app and its user friendliness and multilingual features make it extremely easy for farmers to use. Major commercial users of the product include commercial plantation farms like tea gardens, lemon orchards and grape vineyards.
AgSpeak is free for small farmers and there is a system for in-app purchases like soil testing and agri-doctor consultation. Besides, the IOT devices can be rented on monthly /yearly basis by commercial farms to further enhance precision farm management, the release said.