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How this machine, backed by AI-IoT, can transform the way we test soil

Artificial intelligence and Internet-of-Things (IoT) have been revolutionising several sectors such as manufacturing and retail. Here’s one solution for agriculture that is going to radically transform the way soil is tested. This would help farmers and agricultural scientists to quickly identify the deficiencies, if any, and take corrective measures.

At the core of this fully automated system is an Android app. It is connected to the platform, which can conduct 12 key soil parameter tests and provide results in just 30 minutes. It will immediately send the summary of results in a soil health card to the mobile devices of various stakeholders.

“Compare this with 3-4 hours of testing time that is in vogue,” Brajendra, a Principal soil Scientist with IIRR, who is involved in the development of the system, said.

pH value, other features

The 12 parameters tested by the machine include pH value (acidity or alkalinity); electrical conductivity ( a measure to test the ability of a substance to conduct an electrical current. In soil testing, EC is used to measure the amount of soluble salts in the soil); organic carbon, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, nitrogen and zinc. The 45x37x44 cm machine, which weighs 12.55 kg, is priced at ₹2.12 lakhs (including a GST of ₹32,400).

The Bhu-Vision platform, which is also known as Krishi-RASTAA Soil Testing Equipment, was launched by R M Sundaram, Director of the Indian Institute of Rice Research (IIRR), which is an arm of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research) here on Thursday.

Bhu-Vision (Krishi-RASTAA) is jointly developed by ICAR-IIRR and KrishiTantra, manufactured by HiMedia Laboratories, and marketed by BhoomiSeva (HCF Tech Services Pvt Ltd). 

During the event, 25 Bhu-Vision devices have been handed to over the IIRR team by HCF Tech Services.

“There is a need to strengthen the relationship between private partners and the institutes to develop and commercialise products that can benefit farmers not only in India but also in other SAARC and South-East Asian countries,” Sundaram said.

P Muthuraman, a senior scientist with IIRR, said farmers need to be given training in testing the soil to identify its health. “The IIRR can serve as a platform to offer such initiatives,” he said.

HCF Tech Private Limited Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Melind Deshpande spoke about company’s plans to take this technology forward. He illustrated a ‘shop-in-shop’ model adaptable by village-level entrepreneurs (VLEs).

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