Iffco Kisan, a joint venture between fertilizer major Iffco and telecom giant Bharti Airtel is all set to scale up its high-tech farms initiative across the country. As part of the scaling up strategy, Iffco Kisan will focus on a specific set of nearly half a dozen crops.
Speaking with indoasiancommodities, Morup Namgail, Head (Agtech), Iffco Kisan said, “Our high-tech farms drive for the next two years will focus on crops like sugarcane and its by-products like jaggery, in addition to a host of spices like turmeric, cumin, coriander, etc.” Under its retail brand of Swarnahar, Iffco Kisan launched a spate of spices last year.
“We are using advanced technological tools like Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and precision farming to set up high-tech farms. Currently we have about 10 major projects underway in different locations across the country, involving close to 15,000 farmers,” Morup informed. Iffco-Kisam provides advisory service to over four million farmers in the country.
The company is enthused with the preliminary results of some of these major projects and has devised a crop specific strategy to expand its high-tech farms operations. Iffco Kisan has initiated these projects in collaboration with major commodities and agri business agencies.
It has joined hands with National Agriculture and Rural Development Finance Institute, NABARD to produce potatoes, papaya, castor, tomatoes, sugarcane, etc. covering over 30 villages with over 1000 farmers in Vadgam and Deesa taluka of Banaskantha district of Gujrat. The project aims to reduce cost of cultivation by 25 per cent, reduce post harvesting losses by 10 per cent and eventually increase the yield by 30 per cent.
Another major project is in association with The Himalaya Drug Company to produce pure organic Ashwagandha in Madhya Pradesh’s Ratlam district. Under this project, Iffco Kisan agtech has facilitated the use of IoT devices for soil testing, satellite imagery analysis on vegetation index and soil moisture stress to reverse-image map in order to automatically diagnose pest and disease, and plan optimal irrigation.
Iffco Kisan is also known for its green sim card offering which directly provides advisory services to nearly 4.5 million farmers on a daily basis through mobile telephony. Its Kisan Call Centres in 21 locations across the country responds to around 30,000 calls each day.