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How this Hyderabad social entrepreneur is using big data to change farmers’ lives

HYDERABAD: At a time of widespread agricultural misery attributable to successive droughts, unremunerative farming and debt-trapped rural economies, a younger man along with his cellular app is exhibiting how change will be introduced within the lifetime of farmers on the grassroot stage.

In 2016, V. Naveen Kumar, who had no private information of agriculture, was so moved by the suicide of a farmer in a village in his native Warangal district of Telangana that for the following three months he ran round like a person possessed, assembly farmers to perceive their issues. He interacted with agri-entrepreneurs and different stakeholders to discover if there is a method he can deliver some change within the lives of the financially besieged farmers.

Today, over 1.24 lakh farmers in Telugu-speaking states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh use his cellular app NaPanta to avail a bunch of providers, all freed from price. And this MBA diploma holder is happy that he is contributing his mite to deliver some change in the way in which they practise agriculture.

NaPanta, which was began in June 2017, noticed, surprisingly, 1000’s of farmers obtain the app. The launch of the pocket-friendly Reliance Jio and the growth in use of WhatsApp introduced extra individuals on the platform.

The app, which gives all farming-related data and communication in Telugu on a single platform, is considerably decreasing the time and value of cultivation for a farmer in actual time.

“I am confident that if farmers follow my platform, they will be able to save 20 per cent on expenditure and get 10 per cent extra yield. We can make 30 per cent difference,” V. Naveen Kumar, Founder and Managing Director, NaPanta, advised IANS.

While the nation has many apps to assist farmers, there is no single app protecting your complete gamut of agriculture exercise starting from number of crops to find the market providing highest value for his or her produce. From advisory providers and climate data to market costs and e-commerce, the digital platform provides the great agri eco-system.

The app has instruments like crop expenditure (which helps farmers observe their bills in an organized method), crop safety, weekly agro advisory, agri discussion board, market value, agri e-commerce, crop insurance coverage, climate, meals processing applied sciences, and soil testing data.

A farmer may also purchase or hire an agri-equipment as per the necessities of his crop cycle and may also promote his produce for the best value with none intermediary.

The app additionally permits farmers to entry real-time and dynamic data pertaining to each day market costs of 300 agri-commodities throughout over three,500 markets, together with three-year value pattern.

Currently obtainable in Telugu and English, NaPanta App gives full pest and illness administration particulars, protecting 90 crops and with options about three,000 pesticide merchandise.

Naveen Kumar, who earlier labored as a Credit Relationship Manager in ICICI Bank and later as Credit Risk Manager with HDFC Bank earlier than co-founding apnaloanbazaar.com, a retail mortgage distribution providers portal, says he is attempting to construct core competence among the many farmers.

According to him, for all their necessities, small and marginal farmers rely upon third events like distributors of the businesses.

“With no knowledge of agriculture practices and requirements of a particular farmer, they try to push their products for some extra profit and as a result the farmers either suffer crop losses or end up incurring huge expenditure.”

With agriculture extension officers of the federal government extra centered on clerical associated actions slightly than extending precise assist, he believes there is an enormous hole between farmers and the federal government initiated exercise.

“Farming is not depending on a single advisory. It is a combination of various services. We identified all that a farmer needs in day to day life and ensured that he has easy access to the advisory so that whenever he gets a doubt, he can get it cleared then and there,” he mentioned.

Naveen mentioned a number of states together with Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu had been exhibiting curiosity within the platform. The app shall be obtainable in Hindi and Tamil in June-July this yr. “If everything goes well in next 3 to 5 years, we will have our presence in 7-9 states,” mentioned Naveen, who heads a five-member crew.

While the knowledge on app will clear common doubts of farmers, for particular doubts a farmer can ask questions to a panel which incorporates agriculture scientist and consultants.

NaPanta, an incubatee of International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) additionally will get the institute’s assist in enterprise exercise, reaching the farmers and engagement with agri-input firms.

The startup, which might maintain for subsequent six months by itself, is receiving proposals from completely different funding firms and Naveen says he’ll go along with whoever is shut to his thought.

With large quantity of data being generated on the digital platform, Naveen launched into constructing big-data structure with crowd-sourcing data. It is constructing database with data on main crops in a selected space, main bugs which have an effect on a crop, cropping system, sequential cropping mannequin, pesticides and the place the farmers promote their produce.

He is assured that this data shall be a goldmine within the coming years.

“This kind of crowd-sourcing information is not available in the agriculture sector in India. We are getting information from actual farmers and not third parties.”

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About Beverly Hall

Beverly D. Hall writes for Entreprenuers and Leadership sections in AmericaRichest.

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