Agri Business

Tech platform for precision farming in mulberry

Vishwanath Kulkarni Bengaluru | Updated on June 10, 2021

Helps farmers in cutting down water use by almost half, besides increasing the output of the mulberry leaves by up to 40%

Agri-tech start-ups Reshamandi and FASAL have developed a technology platform for introducing precision agriculture in mulberry farming, which helps farmers cut down water use by almost half, besides increasing the output of the mulberry leaves by up to 40 per cent. Mulberry leaves, largely grown under irrigated conditions, are used to feed the silkworms, which are reared to produce silk yarn.

Reshamandi, which has digitised the trade of silk cocoons and yarn, will be launching the technology platform developed by FASAL for mulberry growers over the next few months, said the company’s co-founder and CTO, Saurabh Agarwal. The company is eyeing a subscription model for the technology platform and is in talks with financial institutions to offer the device to farmers on an EMI, which is likely to be less than ₹1,000 a month, he said.

The solar powered technology platform developed by FASAL consists of soil moisture sensors, IoT devices and battery among others. Using the data generated from the mulberry farms and crop algorithms, advisory services will be offered to farmers on the irrigation schedules, said Shailendra Tiwari, CEO, FASAL. Tiwari said each IoT platform covers an area upto three acres.

The experiments carried out in five farms around Bengaluru since December revealed that production of mulberry can be improved by precisely irrigating the farms with the help of technology, Tiwari said. “The water use and frequency of irrigation was cut down by half in these experiments, where farmers saw the output increase by about 40 per cent. Moreover, the quality of the leaves also improved as they are found to be more shiny and healthy,” Tiwari said.

Agarwal said Reshamandi would also be advising farmers on regulating the temperatures and humidity levels in the silkworm rearing chambers through its app-based advisory services. “Also the farmers can use the app to buy inputs such as chemicals and rearing trays and sell their produce, the silk cocoons at the farm gates or at designated centres of Reshamandi,” he added.

Reshamandi, Agarwal said would also be providing the output linkage for mulberry growers to sell the surplus leaves in Northern Karntaka, where there is a shortage. Initially, Reshamandi is planning to deploy the FASAL IoT platfform in Karnataka, the major silk producing state and also take the technology to Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, where sericulture is practiced.

Reshamandi has over 12,300 farmers on its platform and the company is adding about 100 new farmers every day, Agarwal said.

Published on June 10, 2021

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