These 5 startups are scouting for greener solutions to help farmers fight climate change
Extreme heat waves, frequent floods, and severe drought - the effects of climate change are not subtle anymore. It has taken away lives, destroyed agricultural yields, and ravaged homes in the last few years.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned of calamitous consequences if the present 1.5 degree celsius rise in global temperatures is not death with.
Image credit: Flickr/ Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security
India is one of the most-affected countries when it comes to the phenomenon of global warming and climate change, considering it has a large population to feed and thereby an extensive agricultural set up. Erratic rains and fluctuating temperatures have been at the helm and is taking a toll on both agricultural productivity and farm revenues. The Economic Survey on Climate Change and Agriculture, 2018, says that it could reduce annual agricultural incomes by a whopping 15 to 18 percent.
Amidst the country’s efforts to cut down carbon emissions and move towards renewable energy sources, YourStory lists five startups that are offering innovative solutions to boost agricultural yield amidst the looming perils of climate change.
Looking to help farmers get out of their cycle of debt and crop failure, AgriBolo has created a sustainable solution for the agri-ecosystem through a mobile application. Its digital platform provides farmers with weather updates, expert advice related to soil health and nutrition, tips on some of the best agricultural practices as well as information about the apt use of fertilisers.
Farmers attending an awareness drive.
Based out of Ganganagar, Rajasthan, the startup also gives farmers access to an online marketplace to buy and sell farm products. Besides, they are also given an option to partner with some of the business entities listed on the platform. Founded by Balaji Balaram in 2015, Agribolo has so far engaged over 2.5 lakh farmers across the states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra.
The team of DeHaat.
Founded by IIT alumnus Shashank Kumar and Manish Kumar in 2012, DeHaat is an online platform that connects farmers with a network of microentrepreneurs, including suppliers of farm inputs and equipment. Farmers can place orders for seeds, fertilisers and other equipment through the DeHaat helpline, mobile application, or physical centre which are then sent to the relevant executives to be fulfilled.
The Patna-based startup also offers crop advisory services and other useful market linkages for agri produce.
Satsure's time series data highlighting the crop yield index and other vegetation indices to monitor crop health.
Deeply moved by farmer suicides, their lack of access to scientific agricultural practices, and dwindling farm holding sizes, Abhishek Raju founded SatSure in 2015. It is a data analytics company that uses satellite, weather, and IoT analytics to help farmers in the space of financial security and crop insurance.
This Bengaluru based startup uses machine learning and parallel computing techniques to resolve the complex relationship between crop growth and soil health. It also gives farmers various insights into crop phenology through satellite imagery.
Krishna Kumar, Kunal Prasad and Chittaranjan Jena, Co-founders, CropIn
CropIn, a Bengaluru-based startup founded by Krishna Kumar in 2010, is focussed on enabling farmers to adapt to innovative technologies, remotely monitor farms, and produce quality yield. Through its Android application, CropIn provides tools such as crop reports, weather inputs, pest control systems, and output predictability.
The startup has also associated itself with Good Agricultural Practice (G.A.P), a global initiative to provide the best resources to farmers through a certification.
Rohtash Mal on an EM3 farm equipment.
Sixty-three-year-old Rohtash Mal had just retired from his corporate job when he got the idea to start EM3 AgriServices in Noida. Since its inception in 2014, the startup’s main aim is to boost farmer prosperity by offering agricultural mechanisation. EM3 operates on a farming-as-a-service (FaaS) model and provides modern and affordable farm technology services on a pay-per-use basis.
From the laser-levelling machine, which levels the ground with precision and the MB Plough for deep ploughing to the power harrow to make seedbeds, EM3 has it all. Operating under the brand name ‘Samadhan’, the startup currently offers services across Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.