This deeptech startup is providing information and analytics to solve agri sector woes

Noida-based startup RMSI Cropalytics aims to organise all relevant data related to the agriculture sector to reveal the agrarian distress hotspots and offer yield estimation solutions.
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India is an agricultural country. Agriculture and allied activities act as the main source of livelihood for more than 80 percent population in rural India. But there is also severe agrarian distress. 

Entrepreneur Roli Jindal believes that by the time one gets to understand there is agrarian distress, it is already late.

“Everybody talks about doubling the farmers’ income, but if we want to double the farmers’ income, we first need to measure it. Unless we know what their income is, how will we double it? What happens in India unfortunately is that by the time we understand there is agrarian distress, it is already very late,” Roli Jindal, Co-founder of RMSI Cropalytics, tells YourStory.

[From L to R] Pushpendra Johari, Director, RMSI Cropalytics and Roli Jindal, Co-Founder, RMSI Cropalytics [Image Credit: RMSI Cropalytics]

In order to address these issues, she founded RMSI Cropalytics along with Pushpendra Johari in 2019. 

The Noida-based startup is aimed at organising all relevant data related to the agriculture sector to reveal the agrarian distress hotspots and offer yield estimation solutions. 

Roli explains that at present, yield estimation is done district by district where a few sample fields are selected and a 10 meter by 10 meter square patch will be harvested and the yield will be measured. The data is then extrapolated and an average yield is calculated for the entire district.

In this method, data on just the sample fields are available and data on other farms in these districts is not available at all. 

To solve this, RMSI Cropalytics, a subsidiary of geospatial and engineering company RMSI, is using satellite imagery to monitor farms in the country.

“Using satellite imagery, agriculture stakeholders can see every farm and find the yield estimate in real-time, thereby eliminating the need to generalise the data from sample farms. The problem that we are solving is that in near real-time, we can tell what is the yield estimate farm by farm,” she adds. 

Illustration: YS Design

Application of the data

The startup provides this information through its precision farming and advisory platforms to the government, crop insurance, agriculture input sector, commodity trading, and social sector. 

“For example, if a bank has given loans to a farmer, how will they know what is happening in the farms they have given loans to? How will they know if the loan amount is being properly utilised for farming? Banks need to track the farm. Similarly, insurance companies need to know what is the yield in order to make timely payments. Governments need to know which farmers are actually distressed so that they can help them,” explains Roli.

She reveals that the startup has been working with the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, to estimate crop yield of about 100 districts. Roli explains there is a technical committee under the government which then validates the results shared by Cropalytics.

“We are being able to help fertiliser companies, seed companies, pesticide companies, commodity traders, banks, and insurance companies monitor the farms. So, companies may want to know how is the performance of their seed or their pesticide and want to prioritise their movement. For banks, we can tell them when the farmer is about to harvest,” she explains.

Products and services 

RMSI Cropalytics’ data can be accessed using its SaaS platform PinCER where clients can login and track, identify the farms, zoom into the images, and get access to the data about farms. 

The platform offers five different products. The first product, village prioritisation, offers data to banks, agri-input companies, and rural marketers to help them prioritise the villages to make direct marketing efforts

“For instance, suppose there is a tractor company and they may want to go to those villages which have large farms and good yield. If it is a fertiliser company, they might want to know about villages where weather is good, yield estimate is good, but still had a poor yield in order to understand in case there is a nutrition issue in those villages. A part of the product is farmer credit rating, where we go one step beyond the village, down to every farm level. We tell the banks about how likely the farmer is going to repay their loan. It takes into account the historical performance of the farm as well as the socio-economic condition of the village,” she explains.

The second product offers precision farming solutions where it helps agri-input companies to directly work with the farmers, guide and monitor them, and ensure two-way communication between them.

The third product is in-season tracking and yield estimation data to be used by insurance companies, government, and agri-input companies. 

The fourth product is mainly for insurance companies to help them estimate crop risk in advance

“Our fifth product PIER (Profiler for Insurance Exposure & Risk) offers location risk profile reports. Here, we map flood, cyclone, and earthquake risk for any location and its impact on agriculture,” Roli adds.

PinCER Platform [Image Credit: RMSI Cropalytics]

Business and more

Roli explains the SaaS platform is available to the client organisation on a subscription-based model. However, the co-founder declined to share information about the clientele.

According to a report by Techsciresearch, the Indian precision agriculture market was valued at over $57 million in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 10 percent to reach $99 million. 

Other notable startups such as SatSure, Aibono, Fasal, and CropIn, among others, are also operating in the segment.

Speaking about future plans, Roli reveals the bootstrapped startup is currently aiming to acquire more clients and further develop its products. 

“Our greatest goal is to acquire clients and keep enhancing our products. We currently have about 20,000 farmers enrolled with us and every day we are physically monitoring them and we are looking to enroll more farmers in the coming years,” she adds.

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Edited by Megha Reddy