In his Budget 2016 speech Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced allocating Rs 35,984 crore for agriculture in 2016-17. The announcement would have come as a welcomed move for the populous working in the agrarian sector, considering as of 2015 close to 50% of the population worked in this sector, yet it was producing only 14-18% of India’s GDP. Not much has changed since Green Revolution in 40s and 60s, and farmer’s woes have now started surfacing in the media.
In an effort to improve the plight of the farmers, and to address to the agriculture’s key challenges like water scarcity, labor shortage and low production of crop, Bangalore based FlyBird was founded in April 2013 by Satish KS.
FlyBird Farm Innovations is social impact agriculture startup and has been incorporated with a vision to solve main problems of the agriculture sector. Through innovations and technology, they are focusing on
- Improvising the livelihood of farmers
- Improving the crop yield / production
- Saving water and electric power
- Integrating affordable technology for farmers
Irrigation and applying fertilizers to plants/crops are very important and critical tasks in any cultivation. The firm is focusing on creating smart devices for these tasks and automating the entire processes and bring in the precise irrigation and fertigation to any farm.
What Problems are they solving?
FlyBird Farm Innovations has developed an affordable and innovative product smart Irrigation controller – Siri. It is an automatic precise irrigation and fertigation system. It can be programmed to regulate water and fertilizer soil moisture/temperature/humidity sensors. It will prevent the under & over irrigation and fertigation to crops/plants and improve the crop production.
Impact achieved through smart irrigation and precision farming by Flybird
- Water saving by 25% to 30%
- Crop yield / productivity improvements – 10 to 15%
- Less dependency on manpower and no human errors
- Conservation of electric power
- Reduction of weeds
- Improvised the livelihood of farmers
Flybird sells the smart irrigation controller and accessories like valves, sensors, cables. Price would vary from Rs 10,000 to 15,000 per acre depending on the features required. They team focuses on the small scale farmers, greenhouse farmers and corporate/contract farming. Right now, they are directly selling to farmers, and will be appointing the dealers in coming months. Company claims that they have sold 60 units till now in South Karnataka.
According to a report by ifad, in 2009 there were 47 million small and margins farmers in India and 22 million hectare of land under Irrigation.
Farmers are one of the most misunderstood and marginalized groups in the country. An average farm household makes Rs.6,426 (US$95) a month with nearly 50% farmers in debt. There is a huge scope for innovations in agricultural sector in the country. Affordable technology & smart products to suit the needs of small farmers, will help in saving water, electricity and most importantly help in improving the overall agricultural productivity.
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