When it comes to farming, reaping the benefits not only takes time, it also takes a lot of factors like labour, water availability and power supply to make everything fall into place.
Here’s where Vijayeendra HS and Channabasappa Kolar’s Bengaluru-based startup, Avanijal, comes into play. The duo has developed an ingenious automated irrigation system called Nikash which uses IoT (Internet of Things) technology to control irrigation in the fields via an app.
Nikash requires the installation of a low-cost system to control the valves and motors in the field. The system consists of a controller which is connected to an app, wireless sensor nodes that are embedded into the soil and repeaters that establish communication between the controller and the nodes.
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Farmers can configure their irrigation schedule on the app and remotely monitor the activity, and automate processes which were earlier, manual.
Speaking to the Economic Times, Vijayeendra explains that, “With the help of Nikash, farmers can adopt precision irrigation based on time, the volume of water available and even soil moisture. The system has also been designed to consider voltage fluctuations, so the time or volume of water is automatically adjusted during the event of power outages,” he adds.
Thus, Nikash gives the farmer complete control of the field remotely.
It took the startup three years to develop Nikash. From showings in Krishi Melas (farmers’ conventions) in order to obtain feedback from farmers and experts, to Avanijal being one of eight shortlisted startups for Cycle 1 of Qualcomm Design in India Challenge (QDIC) in 2017, Avanijal has had an eventful journey and has a long way to go.
With eager eyes on other product lines for crop monitoring, Avanijal has partnered with IBM for data servers and analytics using IBM’s Watson. Their services, as of now are only limited to Karnataka but the duo hopes to expand to farmers all over the nation. With a pricing range of Rs 12,000–25,000 per acre, the system is likely to gain the attention of farmers if marketed correctly.
Avanijal has the potential to set a standard in the agri-tech field. It is steadfast in its commitment towards contributing solutions to the field of agriculture and tackling problems with the help of technology.