IOT opportunities in Virtual Farming
Met the CEO of Farmizen Mr Shameek Chakravarty at an event organized by AppliedSingularity on Saturday 14th Oct 2017.
Farmizen leases out a 600 square feet of land to people who would like to grow their own vegetables at a monthly subscription. Farmizen help them grow their vegetables and manage their vegetable garden for thems and supply them their weekly supply of vegetable they grow. This provides an opportunity for end users to take part in growing what they eat. There are quite a lot of benefits for the farming community, primarily because the risk in farming is now shared with the customers.
You can read the details in their website https://www.farmizen.com/ They are aiming for a 100,000 customers as their goal.
Another company Kanchi Organic (www.kanchiorganicfarms.com) seems to be doing a similar model.
Interestingly Shameek took the effort to share the technologies he would like to see as part of the digital farming and most of it falls in the parlance of IOT space.
Farmizen has an app through which all information is exchanged between their customers, the farmers who operate the customer land and the company. The app provides continuos updates on their crop status, weekly videos of their land and other information regarding the crop. It is similar to farm villa. There are solutions required for
1. Cost effective Remote security 2. Mechanisation of farm operations 3. Data analytics tools for the crop management 4. Fool proof mechanism for Tagging of food from their source to the table
Interestingly security seems to be an operational problem they are grappling in their day-to-day operation. In the current conditions farm equipment such as even a water drum, costing less than Rs1000/- used in drip irrigation, gets stolen. Solution has to be cost effective, reliable and scalable.
Intelligent farm mechanisation starting from water & nutrient management to spraying and harvesting are required especially if they have to scale and perform timely management of the farm operations. Right financial model which can scale will be one big challenge. Companies like flybird innovations and Avanijal will have solutions and have to explore the cost factor.
Lot of companies are working on data analytics such as yield estimates but these are required at the farm lot level. This is quite a challenge. Coupled with this is the requirement for micro-level weather forecasting especially predicting rain during the critical times of seeding and harvesting.
The last topic of tagging of food is an interesting topic. In today's requirement of organic and eco-friendly sustainable produce, consumers are demanding a mechanism to tag the location and the process used to produce the food they consume.
Entrepreneurs working on IOT technologies there is a huge opportunity to explore with good solutions which is cost effective and scalable. Shameek is willing to provide his farm land as a test bed for any such technologies and will be a customer for good proven products.