What can technology do in agriculture? Imagine a grower/farmer having the ability to know exactly what, when and how he should grow to maximise yield; a bank/insurance company knowing whom to lend, how much to lend without worrying about risks; a food processing company having real time monitoring of the production, warehousing, inventory, team, etc. It all boils down to making every stakeholder’s life easy with better management and well informed decisions, bringing high efficiency and profits. That is the power of data-driven innovation which is being brought in by Agritech start-up CropIn.
This Bengaluru-based start up, which was founded in 2010, has developed 4 solutions- SmartFarm, SmartRisk, SmartWare and SmartSales – to ‘Digitise the farm’.
CropIn: The Farmer’s Alexa
Since years, farmers have been facing the challenge of climatic vagaries, soil degradation, pest infestation and diseases, non predictability of the production, etc. To address these problems, CropIn came up with SmartFarm, which has the ability to provide precise advice, using Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, geo-tagging and satellite monitoring, to the farmer based on his growing condition and the crops he has set. For instance, if there is a frost attack, the farmer gets advice on how to take action. The tool is capable of even detecting a crop and giving its yield and harvest time frame.
Empowering Governments and Banks to Support Farmers
Majority of government schemes are unable to reach the right person or fail to cater to the precise needs of the beneficiary. CropIn’s platform empowers government entities to remotely monitor the progress of the farmers and to design and implement schemes or programs that can further enhance their livelihoods.
Similarly, banks are able to make better decisions as the solution provides complete information about the farmer and his quality of output. SmartRisk enables lending institutions to validate the information furnished by farmers by comparing it with historical and predictive insights gleaned from a combination of data from multiple sources. This allows banks to underwrite loans and process credit to those farmers who display high assurance of loan repayment.
This Bengaluru-based start-up, which was founded in 2010, has developed 4 solutions- SmartFarm, SmartRisk, SmartWare and SmartSales - to ‘Digitise the farm’.
On the B2B side, CropIn’s app allows farming companies to manage hundreds of farmers and production using a mobile based real-time application. Besides using remote sensing data, the company has around 30,000 extension workers who are engaged in day-to-day visits of the farms, registration, crop monitoring, land survey, etc.
What’s in it for me?
The biggest learning for a small business here is to understand ground issues and develop solutions for the same. The idea of providing SaaS-based services to agribusinesses came to Krishna Kumar, Founder, CropIn, after observing the agrarian crisis in Karnataka in 2010. With time, a simple solution was built over machine learning and AI. Since there is a huge information gap at different levels of the agri-ecosystem, start-ups must focus on building a solution that would cater to the entire value chain. Understanding through CropIn’s initiative of extension workers, it is needless to say that one of the most important responsibilities is to stay attune to the ground realities in this sector.