What is Soil Health Card (SHC) Scheme? How to Procure your SHC using My Farm Info?

Health of the soil is an important parameter to be assessed from time-to-time. It reflects the effect of current agricultural practices on the soil and thus gives a means to adapt methods and maintain optimum condition of the soil. It is with this intention that the Government of India launched the Rs 568 crore Soil Health Card (SHC) scheme. Launched in 2015 it aspires to reach 14 crore farmers in a 3 year period.

The SHC scheme promotes soil based testing and balanced use of fertilizers which would enable farmers to produce higher yields at lower costs. As of February 2016, 1.12 crore Soil Health Cards had been distributed and 2 crore were under printing. But the pace has picked up since then and at the time of publishing the official figures of printed cards is close to 9.5 crores.

These can also be availed using the My Farm Info portal.

Why get a Soil Health Card?  What is the scheme?

Soil health is complex and depends upon a range of ecosystem functions. Soil is not just lifeless growing medium. Rather it has been observed that fertile soil is also very biologically active. Factors like nutrient quotient and composition like NPK (Nitrogen, Phosporous, Potassium) levels, pH of soil, etc all play a major role. Improper use of fertilizers can have a negative impact on the soil health.

Unfortunately most farmers still have to depend on their own instincts to estimate the condition of the soil. The fertilizers used, irrigation and crop cycle are all mostly based on past practices or hearsay.

It is with the intention of addressing this issue and empowering the farmer that the SHC scheme was launched.

Under the scheme, the government plans to:

  • Issue individual soil cards to farmers which will reflect result of soil sample tests and suggestions.
  • Cards will carry crop-wise recommendations of nutrients and fertilizers in the respective individual farms every once in 3 years. These recommendations will be aimed at improving productivity through judicious use of inputs.
  • To deliver the recommendations Soil samples are collected and tested in various soil testing labs across the country. After testing, various experts analyse the strength and weaknesses (micro-nutrients deficiency) of the soil and suggest measures to deal with it. The result and suggestion will be displayed in the cards.

Thus, as a farmer with a Soil Health Card you can become pro-active in your approach and your methods will nurture the soil instead of damaging it.  The practices will become more sustainable and output is optimal and reduced costs.

Aspects covered in Soil Health Cards:

Lets see in detail what do the Soil Health Cards really convey.

The card displays personal information of which few are important to know such as Survey Number, Soil Sample Number as this information is useful when you want to re-procure your Soil card. The geo-location of the farm is also detailed.

The data from Soil Sample tests is presented across 12 parameters:

1. pH   2. EC (Electrical Conductivity)  3. Organic Carbon, then the level of availability of macro- and micro-nutrients ie. Nitrogen(N), Phosphorous (P), Potassium (K), Sulphur (S), Zinc (Z), Boron (B), Iron (Fe), Manganese(Mn), Copper(Cu).

Recommendations are given with respect to:

  1. Secondary and micro-nutrients.
  2. General Recommendations like Organic Manure, Bio-fertilizer.
  3.  Recommendations for fertilizer combination for crop with reference yield.

How do I get my Soil Health Card using My Farm Info?

My Farm Info is an open platform for anyone to use and access information that enable optimum and effective farming practices. As an aware unit we have made the process of getting your Soil Health Card hassle-free. Farmers can either avail our online portal with 24-hour availability or connect with us in person.

Getting your SHC via Online Portal:
  1. Visit our Home Page.
  2. Locate the Farm, add the region
  3. Zoom in and Geo-tag your farm in the map.
  4. Click ‘Soil Information’ in ‘More’ tab and fill up the details if asked.
  5. You have all your Soil data!
All details of your Soil available in an instant.

6. Click on ‘Nutrition’ under ‘Farm Management’ tab to get the fertilizer recommendations.

Nutrient Recommendations best suitable for your land are shown as above.

With the help of our satellite and on-ground infrastructure throughout the country all this data is made available within seconds!

Getting your SHC via connecting in-person:

Using the same portal you can help us reach you in-person.

  1. Visit the Soil Doctor option in the portal.
  2. Fill in the details and submit. Our team will connect with you person thereafter.
  3. A soil sample will be collected, tested and you will be delivered a detailed report along with your Soil Health Card.
  4. For any queries about this process and more details you can also visit our blog which explores Soil Doctor.

My Farm Info is already delivering last-mile services with this portal and helps farmers make the most of various government schemes in this sector.

If you are a farmer, get your Soil Health Card now. If you are not, inform farmers you know and help them make the most of this free portal.

 

 

The Importance of Crop Insurance and how it will benefit farmers

70% of the global land use is for agriculture, rangeland and forestry. In Africa alone, agriculture accounts for 70 percent of full-time employment, 33 percent of total GDP, and 40 percent of
total export earnings.

Between 2003 and 2013, there were 78 disasters caused by all types of natural hazards, including climate-related events. This number has doubled since the 1980s. In a span of ten years, it has affected close to 1.9 billion people and caused over USD 494 billion in estimated damage. The total economic damage is estimated to be $1.5 trillion.

Out of this total, close to 25 percent of the economic impacts is borne by the crop, livestock, fisheries and forestry sector.  The surge in climate change-related disasters poses growing threat to food security.

“Small-scale farmers, fisherfolk, pastoralists and foresters – from Myanmar to Guatemala and from Vanuatu to Malawi – have seen their livelihoods eroded or erased by cyclones, droughts, floods and earthquakes,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, 2015.

According to a report from the Food and Agricultural Organisation of United Nations(FAO), agriculture is the single most affected sector by droughts, absorbing on average about 84 percent of all the economic impact.

This situation is expected to worsen unless effective measures are taken to protect the agriculture sector. With the increase in population, there is immense pressure to increase food production, boost security and protect farms.

Some of the Impact of Natural Disaster on Agriculture

  1. Loss of perennial crops such as garlic, banana and rhubarb
  2. Inability to use the land until water recedes in the case of floods
  3. Permanent increase in salinity making the land unsuitable for production
  4. Decreased production leading to lower farmers income
  5. Increase in unemployment threatening rural livelihood

What is Crop Insurance

When Agriculture is synonymous to disasters and risks beyond our control, it is necessary to take precautionary measures to control damage faced by farmers. A crop insurance plan assists in the stabilization of crop production and reduces the negative impact it has on the lives of the farmers. Considering the current scenario, crop insurance has become a necessity for agricultural-related issues.

Each year, there are new technologies invented to help farmers get more produce from their investments. Since the new investments are risky, insurance packages help the farmer to try new technologies. The insurance companies allow farmers to get insurance covers for the new technologies such that if they fail, farmers will not get losses as the insurance company compensates them.

Advantages of Crop Insurance

Farmers who take crop insurance protect their crop from unforeseen setbacks. Considering that majority of the farmers livelihood is dependent on the quality and quantity of the yield they produce, crop insurance aids in fighting poverty.

The advantages of crop insurance are,

(i) Stability in Income: It protects the farmers against losses caused by crop failure. It acts like a tool that allows farmers to manage their yield and price risks.

(ii) Minimal Debts: Farmers are able to repay their loans even during the time of crop failure with the support of the right insurance partner.

(iii) Technological Advancement: Insurance companies work along with Agri platforms who use IOT to enhance agriculture practices and reduce farmers losses. This helps farmers to understand latest technological advancement and improve their crop production.

(iv) Yield Protection: Crop Insurance protects farmers against  production loss for crops. It also offers preventive planting and replant security.

(v) Provides Awareness: Insurance companies provide awareness campaigns to help farmers understand the effect of natural calamities and also protect their farms.

While a natural disaster is unpredictable, farmers can use forecast methodology to understand climate and weather change to protect their crops. Therefore, one of the most important benefit of buying agriculture insurance is that farmers get peace of mind.

Since major impact of the natural disasters is on poor farmers with limited means in developing countries, it is necessary to use data, technology and financial services to solve climate related challenges.

Weather Risk Management services provides insurance cover to clients ranging from Governments and large Corporate houses to poor peasants in remotest of villages. With the help of Big Data, Analytics, Smart Devices & Financial Services, we have served over 1 Million farmers and have transformed their lives. We have also saved half a million farmers who were struck by natural disaster using weather Insurance.our vision is to secure smiles for all of using pioneering new analysis, technology and innovation to provide security against climate change. A robust and intelligent Historical Data Manager contains historical weather to help farmers plan and schedule their harvest and yield. With the help of crop insurance, farmers will benefit by becoming self-sufficient. They will also be able to raise their investment in crops to get better quality produce.

How does Weather and Climate affect the Agricultural Productivity in India

In India, average food consumption at present is 550 g per capita per day. With the growing population, the imminent challenge is to increase food production in order to feed the population that will reach 1.30 Billion by the year 2020. Farmers will have to produce 50% of more grains to meet the current growing demand.

India has experienced 23 large scale droughts starting from 1891 to 2009. The frequency of droughts is only expected to increase in the coming years. Weather and climate plays a key role in the success of any agricultural crop yield. Changes in temperature, precipitation, Co2 emission etc has a direct impact in the quality and quantity of the produce. Water, the most critical agricultural input in India is scarce. Nearly 55% of the total cultivated areas in our country do not have irrigation facilities. With the increase in global warming, the longevity of heat waves across India is all set to increase with warmer night temperatures. The days are getting hotter and this trend is only expected to continue.

17% of the world population is in India but we only have 4% of the water resources. With every 1 degree rise in temperature, wheat yields are predicted to fall by 5-10% . India could experience a 40% decline in in it’s agricultural productivity by the year 2080. Climate change is posing a massive threat to agriculture and food security in India

Agricultural productivity is dependent on Co2, Temperature, Solar Radiation, Precipitation, Soil Moisture and Wind Direction.

Changes in any or all of these elements has a direct impact on the crop production. So how does change in climate affect crop productivity?

Excessive rain, Untimely rain, Scanty rains with lengthy dry spells, Heat and Cold waves, Storm, High wind and Floods are some of the factors to consider .

Effect of Climate on Crop Production

Rainfall

Farmers are dependent on the monsoon that originates from the Indian and Arabian Sea. When the climate changes, the rainfall cycle, magnitude and the timing of rainfall is altered leaving the farmers unprepared for the change. When the temperature is warm, the water is held in the form of moisture. In arid regions, soil moisture gets evaporated fast leaving less water for crop production. The groundwater level in various areas are also affected with the change in climate.

Winds

Wind travels in horizontal motion from a high-pressure area to a low-pressure area. With the variations in temperature and shift in solar radiation, air from high-pressure areas rushes to the low-pressure areas causing horizontal movement of wind. When  growing plants are exposed to hot wind, it results in dwarfing due to the desiccation of plant tissue. Wind also increases the crop water requirement due to evapotranspiration and therefore an increased need for irrigation.

Carbon Dioxide

Agricultural productivity will also be affected due to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Increase in CO2 will increase temperatures throughout the Earth. Plants will need extra water both to maintain their larger growth as well as to compensate for greater moisture evaporation as the heat increases. While rainwater is not sufficient for current agriculture farmers will have loss in crop productivity due to lack of enough water.

With Internet of Things in Agriculture and Smart Farming, farmers can now increase their productivity and minimize their losses. My Farm Info is one such tool.

Farmers can find the feasibility of growing any crop in their farm using this website. Through this, farmer can grow the crop which will produce maximum yield and avoid growing crops that are not feasible for their area. Forecast Advisory is also provided. With the help of such information farmers can get early warning of disease infestation so they can take proper measures to minimize their losses. Farmers can also use the crop scheduler section in this tool to keep track of all stages of their crop life cycle. SMS messages are sent to them according to the crop schedule. Even Forecast and disease alerts will notified using SMS service. Farmers can also use the Flood and wind risk pages to find the impact of flood and wind on their produce and with such valuable information, can increase their productivity and profits.

How technology is helping in agricultural Farming Decisions in Developing Regions

At present, there are over 7 billion people living on earth, which is expected to be 9.6 billion by the year 2050. If all these figures hold good, then the overall food production needs to increase at a rapid pace in relatively short time period for meeting the demand to feed the world’s population.

However, there is good news that the advanced digital technologies available today are making it possible for collecting and leveraging large amounts of critical and pivotal data at reduced costs—hence making the operations of farm’s field insight-driven, and possibly more efficient and productive. The agriculture ecosystem has already started investing in such digital technologies. The market size for the digital-based services is anticipated to rise at a CAGR of 12.2% between 2014-2020, reaching about $4.55 billion. The enhanced use of digital agriculture services is crucial to not just for improving the performance of the farm financially, but also for meeting the food requirement of the growing population.

ENGENDERING CRUCIAL OPERATIONAL INSIGHTS

For being successful, a farm should grow to the max per acre as it could, reducing the chances of crop failure, minimising the operating costs, and selling crops at the best possible price. All of this requires, together with several other things, managing the input resources effectively like water, fertilizer and seed quality and reducing the effect of unpredictable variables like weather and pests. Though, attaining this feat is not easy. Traditional methods such as physical crop inspection is a time-consuming one and could also be erroneous, while tractor-mounted and fixed sensors alone won’t offer a real-time image of what is happening in the field. The farmers are facing additional challenges in interpreting this information into operational insights which could assist them in understanding what actions to take, where and when. It is where Digital Agriculture Service comes into play. By producing comprehensive insights into operations, it helps farmers to make data-based informed operational decisions for optimizing yield and boosting revenue while reducing expenses, the risks of crop failure, and overall environmental impact.

Depending on the crop, the Digital Agriculture Service could help improve the overall profitability by $60 to $110 each acre. This Digital Agriculture Service combines real-time data from several sources, including NDVI images from UAVs, environmental sensors in the field, sensors mounted on the field equipment, soil databases and weather forecast data. By merging telemetry from such diverse sources and leveraging the decision support engine coded with the crop-specific rules of the business, Digital Agricultural Service could offer recommended actions for the farmers to take for improving the economic output from their farms. Digital Agriculture Service could be connected to farm’s work management system that allows the platform in automatically scheduling the appropriate machinery when the farmers accept definite recommendations.

BY PRODUCING COMPREHENSIVE INSIGHTS, FARMERS COULD MAKE OPERATIONAL DECISIONS BASED ON DATA WHICH WOULD OPTIMIZE YIELD AND INCREASE REVENUE WHILE REDUCING EXPENSES AND THE RISKS OF CROP FAILURE.

Most of the farms globally—predominantly those located in the emerging markets are relatively small, involving few acres alone. These small farmers follow conventional farming practices since they lack knowledge about the existing modern practices. Residing in the remote areas, struggling in nurturing crops on their small plots, these farmers overuse the macro fertilizers and neglect the advantage which they could get from the micro-fertilizers suitable for their soil and crops. These farmers also lack understanding of the pest life cycles, and hence frequently experience crop failure when an avoidable infestation or infection occurs. That’s where digital technologies like Internet of Things (IoT) together with the big data analytics and visualization capabilities can help farmers in gathering and cross-correlating a wide range of critical data for making timely and meaningful operating decisions which could enhance their yield and ultimately the profitability. Intended particularly for smallholder farmers, these solutions could enable the agro-input providers for helping farmers improve their yields by providing pesticide, fertilizer, and seed advice tailored for a farmer’s land and requirements.

DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES ALLOW FARMERS IN ACHIEVING A QUANTUM JUMP FORWARD IN THEIR OVERALL PERFORMANCE

Improving the agricultural yield is an age-old challenge for farmers and will continue to be. Though, today, digital technologies are allowing farmers in achieving a quantum jump forward in their overall performance. While increasing the yield is good for the profitability of the farm, it’s also gradually important for addressing the rising food demand among the ever-increasing population. Pair this with the lower environmental effect because of minimal water wastage, CO2 emissions, and chemical run-off, and one could see the crucial role digital technologies has to play in fostering maintainable farming practices. This is why it’s imperative for each and every participant involved in the agriculture biome to embrace innovative and emerging digital technologies for making their overall operations more productive, profitable and efficient.

Smart Farming using My Farm Info & IoT

Wire.in stated that ‘To give stagnant agricultural growth a boost, a shift must be made from concentrating on the country’s food security to focusing on the farmers’ income security.’ NITI Aayog plan to double the farmer’s income by 2022 stressed upon the focus on irrigation and quality seeds.

Farmers in many parts of India are largely dependent on factors such as rainfall for their harvest and it has a huge impact on their profits. With uncertainties around rainfall, it has been a constant battle with nature to produce quality yields in a good quantity that will help their income and survival.

Experienced farmers used farming history and their expertise to battle this uncertainty. They were able to predict what plant will grow and how much of water was needed based on the weather condition to continue farming successfully. Generations of farmers have followed this wisdom that has been passed on to them. What they were not prepared for was the climatic change global warming and the effect it has on farming.

IOT has started transforming the agriculture industry and helping farmers to improve their crops productivity and yield. Simple factors such as knowing the soil type, when to farm, understanding weather and rainfall forecast, being ready to manage pests with preventive measures can lead to a profitable year of harvest. When one of these factors is overlooked, farmers suffer failed harvest.

A tool like My Farm Info helps farmers understand their farm better. MyFarmInfo.com is an agriculture information system to help farmer maximize their income by providing them ways to increase their yield and help them get the best price for their produce.
Farmers can input their farm details in this software tool on top of GIS interface and enter their farm details.They can look at the farm layout and locate it online using this tool. They will able be able to add new farms and get a complete report on how to improve their farm income by getting optimum NPK application, nutrition information and optimal mandi for the crop.
Some of the reports the tool provides are

Crop Scheduler

Scheduling is an important aspect of crop production. Accurate schedules are required to grow crops to marketable size at the right time of year.

Poor scheduling may cause growers to experience less productive yield. There are several factors that can influence crop productivity. To successfully schedule a crop, farmers have to work backward from the day they would like to market their crop and then decide on the date of seed sowing. WIth the help of My Farm Info tool, it is possible to keep track of all stages of crop life cycle. Farmers will receive messages according to the schedule regarding their upcoming crop stages. Forecast and disease alerts will also be sent through SMS.

Flood Risk

Another important factor that affects crop productivity is the risk of the farm getting flooded. This could be because of rainfall or due to improper irrigation management. My farm info helps in checking if the farm is susceptible to floods using 10 years of historical data. Farmers with that knowledge can work on preventive measures and reduce the chance of flooding.

Wind Risk Management

Another external factor that could affect the crops is wind. Exposure of growing plants to wind results in dwarfing due to desiccation of plant tissue and will thereby reduce its growth. The wind also increases crop water requirements. The Wind Risk page in My Farm Info helps farmers to find the impact of flood and the wind on their produce.

Adapting to Change

Agricultural industry is fast growing and will always have changes. There will also be a set of risks for the produce. Farmers who want to be successful have to be willing to change, adopt to technology and move to smart farming than age old traditional practice.

Effective Crop Management Strategies to Increase Income and Yield.

India loses 15-25 per cent potential crop output due to pests, weeds, and diseases. Harvest and post-harvest loss of India’s major agricultural produce are estimated at Rs 92,651 crore ($13 billion), according to data published by the ministry of food processing industries on August 9, 2016. The numbers have gotten far worse this year. In February 2017, an ICAR scientist stated that pests eat away 35% of total crop yield. Such large-scale crop loss has an adverse effect on biosafety with the increasing demand due to population growth. The European Union has banned the import of Indian mangoes as they failed to pass its stringent biosecurity regulations.

P.K. Chakrabarty, Assistant Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research stated that among all the pests, nematodes, the microscopic parasite had recently emerged as a major threat to crops in India and has caused an estimated loss of 60 million tonnes of crops every year.

Crop protection and crop enhancement solutions are readily available and it is a matter of creating awareness to farmers and village authorities and implementing these solutions in a systematic manner.

Chairman Standing Committee of Parliament on Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Hukmdev Narayan Yadav stated that

‘’The situation should be tackled collectively by farmer associations, industry players, government, and pesticide regulatory bodies in a time bound manner.’’

With the advancement of Internet of Things(IoT) in agriculture, there are tools that can help farmers identify and prevent pests in their crops. My Farm info is one such tool.

In the Farm Management section of this tool, farmers can save their farm details by drawing their farm on top of GIS interface. Once the information is fed into the system by the farmer, Once we have this information, the tool will provide the farmer with optimum NPK application, nutrition information and optimal mandi for the crop.

In the Crop Feasibility section of this tool, farmers can find the feasibility of growing any crop on their farm. When this is done at the early stage, farmers can decide which crop is the best to grow that will produce maximum yield. He will also be able to avoid growing crops that are not feasible for his area.

The tool also has a Crop Management section. Farmers can find the probability of disease infestation in their crop. This scientific tool uses sophisticated algorithms in concurrence with the last 10-year historical data to find disease probability for the farmer’s crop. Forecast Advisory can be used by the farmer to get early warning of disease infestation so they can take proper measures to minimize loss. The tool also tells the farmer the right pesticide to use and in what quantity.Farmers can now protect their fields and seek the fruits of their yields without worrying about precision. Some of the farmers are not aware of the right quantity of pesticide their crop would require. In such cases, too much of pesticides are applied that leads to the produce being poisonous for human consumption.

[bctt tweet=”Water is one of the key factors in crop health” username=””]

My Farm Info provides pest and disease vulnerability across 34 crops. By knowing this in advance, farmers are able to take preventive measure to protect their crops. It is also possible for farmers to get in touch with My Farm Info for contact spraying by sharing their contact details. Once this information is shared, My Farm Info gets in touch with the local dealers and provides the necessary pesticide.

Nutrient Management is one of the key factors in the quality and yield potential of a crop. The application of nutrients, timing, soil management, and water management are important factors in crop quality. Farmers can also use the ‘crop scheduler’ section in the My Farm Info tool to keep track of all stages of crop life cycle. They will receive messages (SMS) according to the schedule regarding upcoming crop stages. Forecast and disease alerts will also be sent through SMS. Other information that will be available is the best season, best crop suitable for the season and soil factor, irrigation timings and schedules and more. WIth all these information, farmers are able to make informed decisions on managing their crop.

The tool also helps in weed management. While there are some weeds that do not affect crop growth, there are other which are distinctly destructive. It is difficult to know the destructive weed every time. The tool provides different weed information along with pictures for farmers to know what is growing on their farm. List of names and pictures of weeds for up to 18 crops can be found on My Farm Info. For farmers who are growing vegetables, this tool also provides nematode management and advisory.

Water is one of the key factors in crop health and with effective water management solution such as timely irrigation information from experts via SMS and WhatsApp, getting expert advice has been made easy.

These experts from My Farm Info are also called as Health Doctors whose primary concern is the health of the farm.

By setting up soil sensors, it is possible to understand the potential of soil, its water retention capacity and how much of irrigation is needed for the crops. This helps in decreasing water losses
The ultimate objective is to help farmers increase their yield and income and that can be achieved by using a tool like My Farm Info.

 

 

Attention Farmers: Increase your income with the right choice of Mandi

The agricultural landscape in India is fast changing. Internet of Things (IoT) has been growing exponentially in India and not only does IoT have a big impact in the Healthcare, Automotive, Technology, Retail and Travel industries but also in the field of Agriculture.

With features that enable smart farming, better pest control, remote sensors, soil moisture measurements, crop cycle management and improved reach and connectivity through SMS and WhatsApp, farmers have been able to increase their yield, reduce waste and gain higher profits.

Despite the advancement of technology for better agriculture, the bulk of Indian farmers continue to sell their crop to village-level dealers and produce aggregators. In the olden days and the age old practice still continue with majority of farmers in India – farmers offload their produce to local dealers aka middlemen who decide on the price. These dealers would then mark up the price and sell it to consumers or other retail stores. In such deals, farmers get the short end of the stick. Majority of the farmers do not take their crop to mandis or to government agencies or cooperatives where they could get a better price.

Agriculture market in India for selling crops is fragmented and this fragmentation hinders free flow of agri commodities from one market area to another. Multiple handlers are the ones who make fat profits while the consumers pay a steep price without a corresponding benefit to the farmer.

In 2016, the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) released ‘Some Aspects of Farming in India’ report which showed that almost 85 per cent of coconut growers sell their produce to retailers and dealers in their immediate neighbourhood instead of approaching mandis. Out of other crops such as paddy, wheat, jowar etc, nearly 50 percent were sold through retailers and dealers as well.

Based on the government initiative, all states in the country except three of them have the mandate to market and sell the farm produce through mandis owned by individual states and or to retail markets without the need of a middleman. There are 6,746 such mandis and each one is located at a gap of 462 km. The government also aims to set up a wholesale market at every 80 km.

Most states have agreed to implement the new model Act proposed by the government. It is believed that this implementation will help in doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

“We aim to promote healthy competition by breaking down the existing monopolies of traders and middlemen,” said Ashok Dalwai, additional secretary at the agriculture ministry.

With the ability to sell to mandis that would fetch better prices for the crop, the next challenge would be to find out how? Where does a farmer go and how does he know if he is getting a better deal in one mandi and not the other.

My Farm Info, a software tool allows farmers to check different mandi prices in real time. Farmers can also look for mandis near them to sell their crops. With a listing of over 39 nearby showing the distance in kilometers and prices for each crop, farmers can choose the best mandi based on the distance and cost that is suitable for them to sell their crop. The price for selling at the Mandi’s will fetch 15-20% more than what the farmers can get by selling their crop to the middlemen and village-level dealers.

[bctt tweet=”Increasing farmers revenue by Rs130 a day! – My Farm Info” username=””]

My Farm Info not only helps farmers to sell their crops for a better price, but also work with the farmers in helping them better the quality and quantity of their yield. My farm info uses Internet of Things to prevent and mitigate crop losses for Farmer, Insurance Companies, and Government Stakeholders. With MyFarm info, farmers can begin to see results in such short time and by using this platform, they are able to reap benefits within the same season. The crop management section in this tool helps farmers find the probability of disease infestation in their crop ahead of time. Sophisticated algorithms are used from the last 10 years of historical data to find disease probability for farmer’s crop. Forecast Advisory can also be used by farmers to get early warning of disease infestation so they can take proper measures to minimize their losses.

Working with the potato farmers in West Bengal, My Farm Info was able to increase farmer’s revenue by Rs 130 per day. Potato farmers in West Bengal’s key struggle have been to deliver potatoes based on the quality requirement set by Pepsico and therefore face a high rejection rate.Their potato produce was greenish in color, high in water and sugar content and the reason for poor quality of the produce is because of improper irrigation management that leads to sub-optimal yields. By monitoring soil, water retention, weather forecasts, pests etc, MyFarm Info helped potato farmers in increasing the quality and quantity of their production.

 

 

How Internet of Things is changing the agricultural landscape in India

According to the Census of India, our population is expected to increase from 1029 million to 1400 million during the period 2001-2026 with a rate of 1.2 percent annually. India’s food grain production has doubled from 102 million tonnes in 1973 to 247.6 million tonnes in 2012-13 due to the growing population. However, the production gains from Green Revolution technologies has been rather low. Despite being the second highest producer of wheat and rice in the world, India accounts for one-third of world’s hungry. This can be attributed to various factors such as technology, irrigation methods, pricing policy and more.

Internet of Things is growing exponentially in India and is being utilized by various industries and verticals ranging from Healthcare to Automobiles, Supply management firms, and even startup companies. Indian Government has taken the initiative and framed policies to develop a connected, secure and a smart system based with an objective to create an IoT industry of USD 15 billion by 2020.

Being a farmer means shaking hands with nature.

The only way to improve the quality and quantity of produce to meet the growing population needs is by turning to Internet of things for smarter data-driven farming and agriculture.

So how does Internet of Things help the farming industry?

Better Pest Control

Crops across the world are only performing up to 20% of their full potential. Field Crop diseases are a threat to food security and by understanding the types of diseases that occur in their crops, farmers can take preventive measures and reduce their losses.

My farm Info is an innovative platform that uses Internet of Things to prevent and mitigate crop losses for Farmer, Insurance Companies, and Government Stakeholders. With MyFarm info, farmers can begin to see results in such short time and by using this platform, they are able to reap benefits within the same season. The crop management section in this tool helps farmers find the probability of disease infestation in their crop ahead of time. Sophisticated algorithms are used from the last 10 years of historical data to find disease probability for farmer’s crop. Forecast Advisory can also be used by farmers to get early warning of disease infestation so they can take proper measures to minimize their losses.

Better Water Management

With the help of Internet of Things, farmers can now make irrigation smarter. India uses 82% of the total water supply for agriculture. The soil is one of the most important elements in agriculture and the right soil moisture helps in growing crops to its full potential. The soil has the power to hold and retain moisture. By understanding the water storage capacity of the soil, it is possible to optimize the water needed for growing the crop. Soil humidity index is one such feature that provides information about soil capacity and intimates on when irrigation is needed for the farm.

Reduction of waste

By monitoring soil, water retention, weather forecasts, pests etc, it is possible to increase the quality and quantity of production. Potato farmers in West Bengal’s key struggle have been to deliver potatoes based on the quality requirement set by Pepsico and therefore face a high rejection rate.Their potato produce was greenish in color, high in water and sugar content and the reason for poor quality of the produce is because of improper irrigation management that leads to sub-optimal yields.

A platform that utilizes Internet of Things can support farmers and help them increase their productivity? MyFarmInfo is one such tool. In fact, farmers have been able to increase their income by 130 rupees a day ever since they began using this tool.

Better connectivity

Unlike the olden days in agriculture where farmers were isolated without proper technology to communicate, Internet of Things has made technology and connectivity available at fingertips. Farmers can receive SMS on their mobile phones on the weather forecast, and even schedules on pest control and irrigation. They can reach a ‘PLANT DOCTOR’ using WhatsApp and ask any queries that they may have about their plant. These knowledge and information help in taking better decisions in farming.

Smart Farming

It is important to know which crop is best to grow on a piece of land for long term yields. In the crop feasibility section of My Farm Info, farmers can find the feasibility of growing any crop on their farm. Through this, farmers can grow the crop which will produce maximum yield and avoid growing crops that are not feasible for their area. Fields are also geotagged on this software. With this information, My Farm Info provides farmers the optimum NPK application, nutrition information and optimal Mandi for their crop. Farmers can find out the mandi prices for the nearby mandies on this tool. Farmers can By choosing an optimal mandi among all their nearby mandies, they can get the best price for their crop.

Internet of Things is bringing a global shift in the field of Agriculture and will help farmers shift their perspective of farming to better yields and profitability.

The key to soil success – Helping farmers make optimum cultivation decisions

We all know that soil is the most important factor in agriculture. Healthy soil is the foundation of our food system as it produces healthy crops that in turn nourish people. There are two important aspects as far as soil properties are concerned. One is the ability of the soil to manage, hold and drain water. The other is nutrients management that includes Cation Exchange Capacity, Clay Content and Soil pH.

Soil Knowledge

Our planet is known to have over thousand different types of soil. Each soil needs to be treated differently. The soil is a living, dynamic ecosystem and its quality can vary greatly even within a region or a ­single field. How a farmer manages the farm can have crucial impacts on the environment. Most times issue rises because farmers are not aware of the best practices in soil management. The beauty about soil is that it can be regenerated and reproduced for repeat agriculture. Therefore, it is important for farmers to focus on preserving it. Farming is a continuous and complex process that also needs close monitoring, studying with a constant exchange of information. One of the primary, most obvious way to improve soil health is by growing crop on the ground at all times. Reducing tillage is another way to allow the soil to improve as organisms in the soil flourish.

How to keep your soil healthy?

It is important to consider the following in order to take good care of the soil.

  • Continuous monitoring of soil’s nutrients level
  • Use of precision agriculture practices to apply nutrients when necessary
  • Choose the right crop based on the soil composition
  • Rotation of crops to improve diversity
  • Reduce tilling
  • Reduce soil erosion and
  • Monitor soil moisture levels

To keep your soil healthy, it is important to have a well-drained soil. In a well-drained soil, optimal root growth happens without drainage problem. Efforts need to be taken to avoid erosion as the loss of nutrients in erosion can be up to 70%. Repeat soil testing and use appropriate fertilizer to help grow your drop.

Existing farming systems, due to repetitive harvesting reduces the nutrients and the organic matter and inadequate effort to replenish nutrients result in poor quantity and quality of harvest for the farmers. Understanding the soil helps farmers take informed decisions on what variety of crop to sow in which area and at what time. While this has been done the old fashioned way with sheer experience, IT has made farming easier in this day and age. Technology has created a revolution in Agriculture and with digital information on weather, soil, health, diseases, crop management etc, farmers are better equipped to face challenges ahead in time. They are therefore able to optimize their harvest yield to get larger outputs.

Did you know?
Excessive use of chemical fertilizers has impacted soil fertility in Punjab that has led to an increase in cancer.

My Farm Info is one such tool on agriculture information system created to help farmers maximize their income by providing them ways to increase their yield and help them get the best price for their produce. This software allows farmers to access key farm information and take necessary action when it matters most. With this tool, farmers can view their fields and crop plans on the map once the geotag their farm on the website. It also allows farmers to connect with a farm doctor through SMS or WhatsApp to get details on weather, soil etc.

‘’The more a farmer knows about his soils, the better equipped he is to decide which varieties to sow in a certain area to produce optimal yields’’
Tobias Menne, head of Digital Farming at Bayer’s Crop Science Division.

My Farm Info also suggests the right crops based on long-term forecasts of that specific field & soil moisture maps. Soil humidity index provides information about the water storage capacity of the soil and recommended the optimal fertilizer needed to improve along with the best time to irrigate.

In the Citrus fields in Abohar, India, My Field Info helped farmers using their soil moisture sensor technology in taking impactful action in their field. By providing soil information including Cation Exchange Capacity, Clay Content, Soil pH and comprehensive soil data, we were able to help the farmer make optimum cultivation decisions.

Soil Moisture Data in this tool also provides optimum field irrigation schedule for the farmers. This kind of information helped farmers plan their cultivation at ease. We were able to optimize the soil choice by understanding the soil matter content in taking planned decisions.The tool also offers Crop Management Solutions by providing nutrition advisory ensuring that the farmer has access to crop nutrition oversight throughout its life cycle.

Why use MyfarmInfo?

My Farm Info aims to show results within a season and by using this platform, farmers will now be able to reap benefits within the same season. Farmers are geo-tagged for and their precise field details can be viewed by hovering over the farm location on Myfarminfo.

Techniques for Regenerative Agriculture to Increase Farm Productivity and Crop Yield

Myfarminfo provides farmers and other stakeholders the best guidance and information about the weather and suitability factor so that optimum harvesting can be gathered. This ensures that all farmers will get the right amount of return on investment. Myfarminfo is providing various ways to use the same land and soil several times with better qualities and productivity rate.

Regenerative Agriculture is a practice which deals with the studies about how to keep the soil enriched with minerals and to develop and enhance the nurturing of crops and farms etc. Regenerative Agriculture makes the quality of soil better such that it provides many advantages as the beneficial factors. It is a set of efforts and rules which if works consistently and appropriately then they will provide the high profit in the agricultural field. It strengthens the growth which is good for present and well as for future. The new ways to establish regenerative agriculture are as follows:

  1. Polyculture: As the name suggests, polyculture means to grow many different species in one portion. As every crop has different needs and requirements, hence the task is fruitful in balancing the different species. The monoculture is traditional way of farming which is not such good. Monoculture leads to result of destruction of the entire crops due to any natural calamity, heat or any other pesticide effects. Soil fertility also reduces due to monoculture. It’s the reason for loss of habitat of animals and results in ecological imbalance.
  1. The soil food web: As far as the technology is advancing, the nature is not run out off the race. Again and again, nature proves to be most potent among all machinery developments. The Soil Food Web is the natural process accomplish by the microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, and others etc. They used up the soil and making it healthier than before, provides the same to the roots of the living plants. The newly generated soil is better in many aspects including the reason of not- availability of any chemical fertilizer into the ground.
  2. Holistic management: Holistic management approach deals with the decisions made by the farmers or the other parties keeping different aspects of the ecology including the financial, environmental, and biological and the social aspects etc. Various tests are being carried on to make the technique more usable and familiar. It is a new framework for regenerative agriculture and so broad to practice. Education is not such counts but proper understanding and accurate decision making is the game changer!
  1. Properly managed livestock: Properly managed livestock i.e. PML is another way to regenerate a As farm animals are considered as the primary assets to the farmer, therefore, their health and growth will work on the performance of the agriculture. Hence, one should invest money on anything with full consideration and consequences in mind. Better you manage the livestock, better the advancement and growth you will see and feel in the farms. The business will perfectly give colorful results. It is a mandatory practice to see and control the number of breeds and species are consuming the same field. Over grazing of the same region may affect the agricultural process.
  1. No- till crop production: Tilling means the damaging of soil. Tilling happens due to the physical disturbance takes place beneath the earth. The effect is too dangerous that it is measured to have more harmful effects than using fertilizers and pesticides etc. Hence , awareness among farmers and the cultivators is increasing day by day so that they can change their way of farming. The No – Till Crop Production will provide efficient and fertile soil which eventually will produce good crops and the process will be more profitable.

 

  1. Perennial crops: Are you aware of the crops of apples and alfalfa? Yes, these both are the perennial crops which can be harvested repeatedly before they get vanished. The practice of cultivating perennial plants is new to agriculture. It reduces the soil erosion and feeds the soil food web to make the soil more fertile. It also results in balancing the habitat etc.

Image result for Regenerative Agriculture

  1. Permaculture : Another concept in regenerative agriculture is Permaculture. Permaculture is the mechanism to design a landscape after observing the requirements of agriculture and the environment etc. As human life has importance of morals and ethics to balance everything, similarly nature also needs balance. Permaculture has three primary standards: The Earth’s Care, the Citizen’s Care and a good return on Investment or Surplus. It works as the additional activity to the core farming needs. The higher the efforts, the more beautiful will the emergence of results.

 

  1. Thermal composting: Among the different composting techniques, one is the thermal composting. Thermal Composting is the path which is desired to maintain the lives of microbes because the tiny organisms do much for the vast plantation growth. Thermal Composting provides the best way to keep soil nutrients efficient and beneficial. The microorganisms are significant of the fertility of the soil. There is no surprise in knowing that the secret of healthy and enrich soil is the staying of these little microbes.
Draw your own Farm

The methods mentioned above are all researched based projects and studies in Agricultural Science. The development and advancement are both ever- lasting processes. Therefore, the betterment continues. The team of Myfarminfo always solves queries and gives timely information to the desired parties and customers. Hence, Myfarminfo is working for the welfare of people of India who are mainly engaged in Agricultural sector. What we need is to extract the maximum knowledge from the present scenario and make it reliable for the future.