Mysuru: Taking scientific farming to the doorsteps of farmers, the Maharaja Institute of Technology (MIT) has come up with a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) that can be installed in fields to help them improve their agricultural productivity and fetch them a good price for their crops.
Developed by a 12-member team, including faculty and students of MIT, in collaboration with the Sri Kshetra Dharmstala Rural Development Programme (SKDRDP) , the technology has been tested successfully over 100 acres in three villages of Srirangapatna, Pandavapura and Ilavala.
Explains team head, Dr. Mahesh Rao, “When installed in the fields, the wireless sensor network collects all necessary data on soil moisture, weather , the crop as well as the market pricing and feeds it to the APSIM simulation software, which then tells the farmer precisely the type of crop he should grow with the least amount of input to get the maximum profit.”
Pointing out that China had increased its apple production from six metric tonnes per hectare in 1998 to 15 metric tonnes in 2010 with the use of WSN technology, he says, “We too can achieve similar results.
This technology can also detect any change in chemical properties in the crop and immediately alert the farmer , calling for intervention”.
Says another team member, Dr. Kiran Kumar, “We did a survey in June and found that the price of tomato was Rs 800 per quintal in Mysore and Rs 1,900 in Karwar.
If farmers in Mysore were told about this in advance they would have sold their produce in Karwar. Now with the help of this technology farmers will learn about state-wide marketing dynamics and the pricing of their crop before harvest.”
All the interested farmer has to do is install a sensor costing Rs 2,000 in his field and subscribe to the simulation software. “The farmer will get periodic alerts via SMS for a nominal fee,” Dr. Kumar explains....