ICT Applications for different crops and horticulture


ICT Applications for different crops and horticulture

We are working in the field of Agro Electronics since 25 years in India with major thrust on ICT for Irrigation by the brand, Nano Ganesh- A Mobile Based Remote Control System for the Water Pumps.

During the course of this big time phase, we came across so many challenges faced by the farmers and they sought for the solutions. In all the ways, ICT was a major solution to solve their problems. I am listing and describing briefly how ICT is a magic for the farmers in sustainable crops.

It may be interesting and entertaining to while reading few of unbelievable ICT applications we have provided or witnessed in Indian horticulture. There are so many ICT applications but the following are few universal ones to throw light on the various possibilities.

  1. Electronics Fencing for Banana Plot - The electronics fencing of galvanized wire along the perimeter of the farm of two to three acres having a banana plantation. This fencing has been charged by a high voltage such that it is not fatalistic but will provide a mild shock to animals or even a human being.The alert can be sent to the farmers mobile phone if there is some attempt of a breach.
  2. Wild Animals Voice Sound Generator for areca nut and banana- In Goa State of India and forest prone agriculture area, there is a big challenge of monkeys spoiling the areca Nut and banana plantation. They easily cross the electronics fencing but are scared due to the loud sound of tiger or elephant. But, these monkeys are so clever that once they get acquainted with the cycles of the sounds, they are not scared. So, there are few ICTs in India creating different sounds at different time cycles so as to confuse the monkeys. The sounds are generated by an amplifier powered by solar and controlled by Remote control.
  3. Weather forecast alert for Grapes and Mangos - In India, many times there is a weather change in the month of December when the flowers of mangos have just started blossoming. Sometimes in the month of March, the winds destroy the flowers of mango tending to huge loss of yield. Similarly, showers in December cause a big loss to budding grapes. A few years ago, it was a direct loss, but now with the help of weather forecast from different ICT service providers, farmers can proactively work on the coverings, emergency medicines, temporary curtains etc. to avoid the loss of flowers and buds.
  4. Moisture Sensors in Drip Irrigation connected to Cloud (IOT)- The yield depends on the adequate quantity of water to the horticulture products. Accurate sensor controlled water through drip and sprinklers irrigation has helped a lot to Grape Growers in Nasik Region of Maharashtra State in India. The amount of water can be measured per day in winter, summer as well as sensed by the moisture sensors. There is a huge saving of water, soil minerals due to controlled irrigation. Wireless monitoring and controlling of irrigation has been achieved with the help of Nano Ganesh system.
  5. ICT in Green House - Many rose gardens and strawberry farms in Western Maharashtra are developed in the controlled weather created by Green House Net sheds. Temperature, irrigation, humidity, light radiations etc. are controlled with the help of different equipment with ICT intelligence. Everything is well monitored from the urban office of the grower.
  6. Sorting of fruits (Color, size, smell, weight etc.) - It is a tedious job to sort out the fruits as per color, size, quality and smell. I have seen some photo sensing machines as well as size sorters run with a full automation which gives fruits sorted out in different boxes along with an output in the form of digital data sent to the computer terminal.
  7. Sequential timers for irrigation - If there are say 10 plots to be irrigated with less capacity of the water pump, every plot is irrigated one by one with solenoid valve control and water sensors. This data is put to the cloud for analytics.
  8. Electrical Motor Pump Burning Prevention Device with alert - There is a big loss of yield if a water pump is burnt due to erratic power in the peak period. There is a vast network of the pumps and electrical cables in the agriculture farms burning of motors tend to not only headache of irrigation but expenses in repairs, logistics and time loss. In India, almost 80% water pumps are equipped with ICT protection devices to prevent burning of motors and sending alerts on mobile phones if any voltage or current crosses the limits.
  9. Communication with the overseas market for Grapes - Farmers have now efficiently established the communication with the domestic and overseas market. They can take a wise decision in the group or an individual about driving the products to the logistics network.
  10. Health-care of plants and soil - Though it is still in incubating stage, ICT for the health care of plants and soil mineral contents are being on the way to farmers. In sugarcane belt in India, the contents of the particular soil minerals have been totally diluted tending to loss of fertility of the soil due to overwatering. ICT role is important to diagnose the minerals in the plants as well as soil material. Different electronics sensors along with chemical processes are most useful in deciding the fertilizers input to the soil.
  11. Postharvest Management and storage - Temperature data of refrigeration and storage along with data of control and monitoring during the logistics as well as static storage is a vital sector of ICT applications. There are so many localized ICT innovations used in the agriculture that few of them seem to be really scalable across the globe.

Santosh Ostwal Ossian Agro Automation Private Limited Private Sector (Commercial Companies)

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