Agri Business

An eye in the sky for open warehouses

TV Jayan New Delhi | Updated on July 03, 2021

Agri Suraksha’s satellite-based tech enables monitoring produce in far-away locations

Safekeeping and continuous monitoring of grains stored in an open warehouse located in a remote region has become easy and cheap with a firm specialising in commodity management based in Delhi developing technology solutions that can give live feed from the location via satellite.

Sohan Lal Commodities Management (SLCM), a private-owned post-harvest agri logistics group, has recently unveiled a new technology solution called Agri Suraksha, which makes it possible to monitor produce stored in far-away locations from the safe confines of the office round the clock.

“The moment I make this digitised solution available to financial institutions, it can make so easy for them to know how their collaterals are kept. This can give them a lot of comfort in pushing more credit into the system,” said SLCM Group CEO Sandeep Sabharwal.

Monitored space

As of June, SLCM which manages 7,009 warehouses with over 100 million square feet space, has wired 200 such warehouses. “The plan is to bring 80 per cent of the warehouses that we manage under Agri Suraksha coverage by the end of the current financial year,” said Sabharwal. “The technology is one of its kind,” he said.

Agri Surakasha is not the only proprietary technology that SLCM has brought into India Agritech space. This is in fact another technology solution for which the New Delhi-based firm has filed a patent application. A couple of years ago, its IT team developed a centralised real-time process management system for managing warehouses called Agri Reach. The system has all the processes, methods and systems in place to commence operations of a warehouse as well as to check the health of crops stored inside. An algorithm, it combines a series of processes, audits and real-time tracking of the facilities to give error-free results and deplete the risk of crop damage. It uses techniques like geo-fencing to bar-coded storage receipts to avoid theft, pilferage, and conducts internal audits at multiple levels.

Real-time tracking

The technology solution for which the patent is pending is an App that can determine the quality of produce stored from photographs. “It enables a trader or farmer scan crop seeds for quality assessment. The app will be able to check multiple quality parameters for a variety of food grains and pulses with up to 90 per cent accuracy as compared to a lab test, said Sabharwal.

“People in India will not be able to afford expensive solutions. The solution has to be cheap, scalable and yet it has to suffice the need. This is what we have done with Agri Surakasha. As your collateral manager, it is my duty to safeguard the goods that you have entrusted to me,” Sabharwal said.

Live feed of warehouse

Apart from SLCM being able to monitoring the crop 24X7, it would be able to give live feed of the warehouse to its owners with which they can not only carry out surveillance operations but also talk to those employed there. “Here we are not talking about cities or towns where there is 24-hour electricity and net connectivity that makes CCTV installation possible. The storage facilities that we talk about are in in the middle of a paddy field where there is no electricity,” he said.

In the government sector, warehouses in six districts of Madhya Pradesh would be the ones to get the benefit of Agri Suraksha technology solution. SLCM which bagged a contract from Madhya Pradesh State Warehousing Corporation to manage warehouses with total capacity of 3.22 lakh tonnes in six districts in the Gwalior region, would be using Agri Suraksha for monitoring the upkeep of the grains. “We would be deploying the technology there even though they did not ask for it. They probably did not know such a technology even exists,” the SLCM chief said.

Published on July 02, 2021

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