October 11th, 2015
Image Source: Jayalaxmi Agro Tech
This is about two cousins who quit their high profile jobs in India and abroad, in order to contribute to the agriculture sector in our country. Anand Babu, the founder of Jayalaxmi Agro Tech is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore, with over a decade of experience in the corporate sector. His cousin, L Shivaprakash completed his course in mechanical engineering from Hagaribommanahalli, worked in telecom companies for about 10 years and then left his job to join Anand.
The duo, hailing from a family of farmers in Hagaribommanahalli, Bellary district, Karnataka, has developed a mobile application which provides complete information on 15 major crops grown in Karnataka, like arecanut, sugarcane, banana, tomato, and paddy. There are also two apps on goat and sheep rearing.
The information includes knowledge about crops suited for various agro-climate zones, methods of sowing and transplantation, pest management, dosage of fertilizers, pesticides, etc and even has a reminder system about the schedule for different farm activities like irrigation, sowing, use of fertilizers and harvesting. More importantly, the information is not just provided in English but also in regional languages like Kannada, via audio-visual media, making it easy for even illiterate locals to understand.
The contents, developed after consulting with scientists in agricultural universities in Karnataka, are updated at regular intervals so as to provide information about the latest techniques in this sector.
A farmer can download apps about crops of his interest by visiting Google Playstore. The information can be provided to others though blue-tooth / wi/ flash transfer. While the download is free for farmers, the social entrepreneurs are paid Rs 20 per download and they utilize the same for further research, innovation and for administrative expenditure.
This is a crucial step in digitizing rural India. In fact, this is what the vision and mission statements of Jayalaxmi Agro Tech states: “To be the leader in agri mobility solutions that enables farmer and bring social transformation” and “Empower farmer with information and help as decision support system in crop management and achieve more productive and build food secured nation”. As we can see on the organization’s home page, their focus is to bring Mobility, Analytics and Cloud (MAC) together into the hands of farmers.
These digital solutions have already empowered over 35, 000 farmers of the state by bridging the gap in knowledge about agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry. For this, Jayalaxmi Agro tech has also bagged mBillionth Award South Asia, 2014. This is apt since its aims are in keeping with Digital India and Make in India dreams of our Prime Minister.