Gramophone: Farm doctors at your service
Friday, May 4, 2018
By Varsha Meghani
As a grower of soya beans on his 10-acre farm in Maljipura village in western Madhya Pradesh, if disease struck Jai Prakash Meena’s crop, he would rely on prayer, past experience or the advice of the pesticide vendor in the nearest town. But that often proved inadequate.
Enter Gramophone, an Indore-based startup founded by two IIT-Kharagpur youngsters in May 2016. Tauseef Khan and Nishant Vats Mahatre have developed an app that allows farmers like Meena to access “actionable insights” about their crops from planting to harvesting.
At the time of planting his produce, all Meena has to do is enter three data points into the app: The crop he is sowing, the date of sowing and the acreage of his field. Based on this information, Gramophone will throw up advice on the kind of inputs the crop needs throughout its life cycle. For instance, at the time of sowing if the crop needs certain nutrients, the app will automatically send Meena a push notification to that effect. Similarly, 15 days into sowing, the app will alert Meena on the diseases that might afflict the crop at that stage and how to prevent them. If already ravaged by disease, Gramophone will provide suggestions on what inputs to use to combat it. All this is done in a pictorial, easy-to-understand format. “Life has become so much easier now,” says Meena, 40. “And so much more predictable.”
Photo courtesy of Market Development Facility.