Bhupendra Parmar, an Indian farmer who owns 8 acres of agricultural land and is consulting for more than 1000 acres, recently saved his crop from powdery mildew disease. He has also been able to save cut his irrigation water requirement by 50%. He did so with the help of Fasal, an AI-powered IoT platform developed by Wolkus Technology for climate-smart data-driven precision agriculture.
For our readers who aren’t acquainted with Hindi, “Fasal” means “crop” in the language. Based out of Bangalore, India, Fasal is currently being incubated at Nasscom Centre of Excellence for IoT. Fasal is founded by Ananda Verma and Shailendra Tiwari, both belonging to farming families themselves.
Fasal has a sensor device which sits on the farm and monitors critical climatic parameters like humidity, temperature, rainfall, leaf wetness, soil moisture, etc. The data is uploaded to the Fasal cloud platform where AI engine analyses the data and makes the prediction about micro-climate, diseases, and pests.
The farmers can see the condition of the farm anytime on their mobile. They also get notified directly on their devices about disease spread and have an option to take actions. Specifically, Fasal provides following core services to the farmers:
- Micro-climate prediction
- Disease prediction
- Irrigation management
- Data Analytics
The micro-climate weather forecast model, also called Fasal μClimate, deliveres AI-based tailored forecasts for each farm located at a point scale. It further relates the in-field information with publicly available forecasts and provides actionable information and notifications.
Recently, Fasal got acceleration support form Zeroth.ai, which is Asia’s first AI and ML accelerator. It also raised $120K from them with focus on enhancing their AI capabilities.
Fasal is also collaborating with the UC-Berkley Andhra Pradesh Smart village initiative, which is a collaborative initiative between Govt. of Andhra Pradesh and the University of California Berkeley. Smart Villages aim at empowering, improving, and connecting villages, while enabling sustainable development by leveraging Digital Technologies. Fasal did its first installation under the smart village initiative in Kuppam, which is the constituency of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu himself.
Talking about more on-ground presence, Grover-Zampa, one of the largest vineyards in India, is Fasal’s customer as well. Over the past months, they’ve benefited using Fasal’s solution by controlling water stress level, measuring leaf wetness to manage diseases and much more. You can read some more Fasal’s impact stories here.
If we take a look at the current scenario, there lies a vast scope for precision farming and “smart” decision making in Indian agricultural arena. At this point of time when things are changing and digital advancements are being made at a fast pace in the country, Fasal looks like a promising and innovative startup that could change the current landscape even faster.
Precision Agriculture investments in India have generally lagged in comparison to the U.S.; they are now gaining momentum. For example, in November 2017, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation teamed up with the government of Andhra Pradesh to hold the “Progressive Farmer, Smart Farming” pitch competition, which included Data Mining for Agriculture as a key focus area.
Know more here on their website: Fasal.co