This article is sponsored by Intel.
Proving a broader support to the government’s Digital India initiative, Intel has launched multiple initiatives like the Intel India Maker lab that provides infrastructure to budding entrepreneurs and platforms; International Science & Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) that stimulates a culture of innovation and technology-enabled transformation in youth and the Innovate for Digital India Challenge.
It was in April 2015 that Intel and DST launched the Innovate for Digital India challenge. Aspiring or existing entrepreneurs and innovators were invited to develop intuitive and easy-to-use solutions to drive technology adoption or create applications that accelerate the delivery of e-governance services through eKranti/MyGov apps on mobile platforms.
The challenge saw an overwhelming response with 1,900 entries from all over India. And on November 20, the top 10 winning teams and their ideas were announced.
One of the 10 finalists was Jayalaxmi Agrotech. The company’s crop-specific app in regional languages and English, will provide comprehensive information to farmers, helping them take timely decisions to minimise crop loss and improve productivity. This app helps provide higher knowledge about smart farming, making agriculture in India a profitable business. A remarkable aspect of the app is how it breaks down the literacy barrier, so that even someone with barely any formal education can access and understand all the features.
The Ballari, Karnataka-based company has 15 apps related to different crops, including wheat, coconut, cotton, sugarcane, tea, as well as a variety of fruits and vegetables. They also offer two apps on animal husbandry. Over 35,000 farmers have downloaded the apps so far.
The information on the app is updated on a regular basis and addresses matters such as sowing and transplantation methods, fertilizers to be used and their dosage, pest management, irrigation and harvesting techniques. Users also receive reminders via the app on schedules related to irrigation, administration of fertilizers and pesticides, and in the case of livestock, their vaccination.
Founder Anand Babu was joined by his cousin, L. Sivaprakash, when he set out to make life easier for farmers. While both have had corporate careers for over a decade each, they were keen on doing something that would have real social impact. Their app may not have a fancy name, but they are clearly committed to their vision of bringing about social transformation through empowering farmers.