A cost-effective soil-testing solution was recently developed by students of IIT Roorkee, which will help farmers by boosting the productivity of crops. The solution, known as Solving Nitrogen Application Problems (SNAP), can achieve this by the balanced use of fertilisers.
The device has been built to mitigate fertilisers’ ineffective use, which results in the downsizing of crop yields. The optical imaging application can determine optimum fertiliser input by performing ‘multi-spectral imaging’ of the crop leaves. The camera module has been programmed such that the image of the leaves will help determine the soil’s nitrogen content.
The team that has developed this device comprises B-Tech students Ankit Bagaria, Anisha Godha, and Utkarsh Seth Saxena, led by the third-year student Ekdeep Lubana.
According to The Indian Express, the team said,
Poor awareness and illiteracy among rural farmers forces them to believe that the low yield is due to insufficient usage of fertilisers. SNAP aims to bring the power of ‘Smart Soil Analysis’ into the hands of the farmers.
Team leader Ekdeep further said,
Our main aim was to provide farmers with a low-cost and easy solution to determine the amount of fertiliser to be used.
There has been an increase in global demand and consumption of agricultural crops over the past years. To satisfy this demand, one can either increase the crop productivity of existing farmlands or increase the area under production. Of the two, the former is a better alternative as it avoids disruption of ecosystems. Building tools and techniques to increase crops' productivity can help meet the consumer demand and also help the farmers.
SNAP analyses leaves in a simple fashion to determine the amount of fertiliser to be used, thus helping farmers increase their crop productivity.
This team made an impression with its project among 900 teams from over 70 countries and was honoured as the winner of the Ericsson Innovation Awards 2017. They received nearly EUR 25,000 as their prize money on winning this competition.