Responsible use of agrochemicals

A few months ago, while I was working on a chatbot project with Grape Mundo I reached farmers in rural areas. There I realized that people from different age groups face different problems but most of them lack understandings of agrochemicals. Even though they were experienced, senior farmers they were less updated with latest, effective agrochemicals and world trends. Young farmers were not aware of the practices in agriculture, and an irresponsible use of pesticides caused contamination of soil, water, turf, and other vegetation and such irresponsible use results in killing of beneficial insects, weeds, birds, fish, and even non-targeted plants. Then I thought that these people should be made aware about using pesticides responsibly. After getting idea about such issues, I got passionate about contributing something in sustainable crop protection, with my knowledge in AI and technology.

According to a survey around 120 million hectares land is under principal crops in India and among them many crops need pesticides and fertilizers. Therefore I decided to develop an application which can educate farmers about agrochemicals. It’s as simple as taking photo from Smartphone then application applies ML techniques and displays its contents, PHI, best practices to use and its effects on particular pests, diseases and deficiencies, whether the chemical is allowed to use or not by respective authorities etc. Additionally this information is currently shown in english and the regional language marathi. Using the application farmer can get to know effects of the product as he can see nearby farmers using the same product. Apart from this, the app suggests you similar products from standard reputed companies like Bayer, Syngenta and gives an alert for duplicate, banned and harmful chemicals. (Respective images are attached with the mail.)

My motive behind this is responsible use of pesticides and natural resources which in some way leads us to sustainable crop production. With this project I am trying to give access of information and technology to the rural people, which is for their betterment. Somewhere I read that around 600 million people gets illness because of eating contaminated food, hence I think my project will be a contribution in ensuring the sustainable food production systems and implementation of resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and safe production. I believe that it creates a better environment for responsible consumption and sustainable crop protection using technology. This project is a medium for creating awareness about responsible use of pesticides among farmers. It will take them towards proper selection of agrochemicals saving their unnecessary expenses, resulting in more production of harmless food which is a step towards zero hunger. It will also reduce duplicity in agrochemicals and pesticides. I consider the success of the idea in creating awareness of agrochemicals among famers which will improve the food quality in the community.

This solution may fit 3 farming generations:

  • Youth and Women: For inexperienced youths it will spread
    awareness about consumption of pesticides.
  • Streamlined Farmers: For experienced farmers it will help improving agricultural practices and saving unnecessary expenses.
  • Seniors and who are unable to read: For senior farmers and for farmers from rural area its voice assistant will help.

The day this idea came to my mind, I started working on the idea and the basic structure of the concept is now ready. Currently I have built the testing application for some nearby farmers and they are testing it for the usefulness. For initial version about 180 chemicals are included and the list will be improved gradually. The details that are displayed in the application are also limited which will be improved in future. For collecting this information, I have contacted nearby pesticide providers and to check the correctness of the data I am taking guidance of experienced farmers.

Although this much is the achievement there are many future enhancements possible with this solution, like adding more regional languages, disease alerts, pesticide suggestions etc. I think this idea can be considered as N-GAGE champion because it is self sustainable, result based and realistic.

Amol S. Joshi, India


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