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Soil Testing in 5 Minutes: 2 Scientists Innovate Paper-Based Device To Help Farmers

Dr Rajul Patkar and Dr Mukul Singh developed NutriSens, a soil health testing device that tests the soil for six parameters and gives results in a matter of minutes

Soil Testing in 5 Minutes: 2 Scientists Innovate Paper-Based Device To Help Farmers

In order to determine what fertilisers the soil needs, farmers conduct soil testing, which usually takes about 15 days to complete and get the results.

“By the time they get the results, farmers have already added fertilisers to the soil so they can sow seeds on time. We have 14 crore farmers in India, but we hardly have 3,000 labs for soil testing,” explains Dr Rajul Patkar, CEO and co-founder of Pune-based Proximal Soilsens Technologies.

To tackle this issue, Dr Rajul and Dr Mukul Singh developed NutriSens — a paper-based sensor strip device that makes soil testing as easy as testing blood sugar at home.

After more than a decade of research, Dr Rajul made the prototype of the device in early 2022.

Explaining how the device works, she says, “Prepare a sample using one gram of soil; put an agent solution of 3 ml in a small vial; shake it; and leave for about half an hour for the soil to settle until the clear solution appears. Put a drop of solution on the sensor.”

It takes about five minutes for the device to test the soil for all six parameters. After the test is completed, a soil health card is generated, which can be downloaded instantly on mobile phones.

So far, the duo has sold over 2,000 consumable sensor strips, which are priced at Rs 35,000 in Punjab, Assam, Telangana and Maharashtra.

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Watch this video to learn more about the soil testing device:

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Edited by Pranita Bhat

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