This Bengaluru-based agritech startup is revolutionizing agriculture by introducing digital technology and building alternative solutions to facilitate sustainable methods in agriculture.
Even though technology is advancing in agriculture, which is easily one of the most significant industries in the Indian economy, it still faces problems such as quality seeds, plant infection, and marketing networks.
Agdhi Technologies Pvt. Ltd. is an agritech startup that is combining digital technology and human creativity to enable sustainable methods in agriculture while building alternative solutions for the problems prevalent.
The Tech Panda spoke to Nikhil Das, Founder of Agdhi about how they are helping the modern-day farmer of India.
We are solving the farmers’ needs and introducing next-generation electronic products optimized for agriculture
“Agriculture, which is both a major industry and a foundation of the economy, is looking for innovative approaches in protecting and improving crop yield. The traditional methods of testing seed quality generally rely on manual inspection, Grow-Out Tests (GOT), which is time consuming, labour intensive, and involves higher costs,” he says.
“Secondly, timely attention and care to crops and unawareness of crop diseases are a few of the major reasons why new farmers fail to make their efforts to market. We are solving the farmers’ needs and introducing next-generation electronic products optimized for agriculture,” he adds.
Das is also the ex-CTO of Havells as well as the Founder of Promptec LED Lights.
What They Do
Agdhi is bringing out three flagship products for farmers:
Das emphasizes that seed is the most critical input in agriculture. Besides regular cultivation practices, it is the quality of seed that determines the uniformity, vigour, growth, development and finally, the yield of crops. It is reported that in hybrid rice, for example, 1% reduction in seed purity results in a yield loss of 100 kgs/ha (hectare).
“With SeedVision we are bringing in AI based seed phenotyping method, which is a game changer in the agriculture,” he says.
Planto provides the power to diagnose plants from a mobile phone. It provides analysis and suggestions of what a farmer is growing, how it´s growing, and what farmers can do to help. Farmers can become crop doctors by recognizing infected crops and treating for any pests or deficiencies.
Farmers Network India
This network professes to answer the what, when, where, and how about farming. It empowers farmers by providing the right data and services at the right time.
Teching Up Agriculture
Agdhi, through AI, Vision technology, Photometry, Radiometry, and Computer Vision, offers efficient methods for Seed Classification and Seed Quality Analysis. These quality results are provided within seconds.
With SeedVision we are bringing in AI based seed phenotyping method, which is a game changer in the agriculture
Standalone solutions take images of seed samples and provide insights regarding the quality of the seed. Using computer vision technology and machine learning, seed quality testing is automatically screened where colour, texture, size, and shape, are extracted from images of seeds and seed defects are identified through various classifications. This automated technique provides more efficiency in seed sorting compared to being inspected by human labour.
Origin and Inspiration
Established in June 2020, Agdhi is the venture of Das and Anshad Ameenza (President of Innovation Incubator Advisory and advisor to multiple startups). The idea came during an adventurous expedition to an agricultural field.
“At that time, I realized that though technology has penetrated every domain, agriculture is still predominantly traditional,” Das recalls.
I realized that though technology has penetrated every domain, agriculture is still predominantly traditional
On further discussions with the seed industry and agri researchers, they came up with the possibilities of digitalization in the agri domain.
As a startup that came up in COVID times, Das says, there was much to learn.
“I would take 2020 as a new learning curve, which has shown us new ways to connect and work. The education sector has revolutionized, digitalization has accelerated like never before. We take this opportunity to bring in new technologies and digitalized methods to agriculture,” he says.
The Agdhi USP
Agdhi´s USP lies in its vision-based solution for seed classification, which is yet to penetrate the current Indian seed industry.
“In the Indian seed industry, no vision-based solution is used for seed classification. The current industry depends on human expertise for the classification and many seeds like cotton, which are classified by germination and GOT. There are a few global players who are working in the same direction. SeedVision will be operating globally along with similar companies with particularly good edge in the technology end,” Das explains.
Presently bootstrapped, Agdhi is planning to secure a funding with a ticket size of INR 25-30 crore during this year. Bengaluru-based life science incubator Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) announced Agdhi the winner of its fourth National Bio Entrepreneurship Competition (NBEC 2020). It has also been selected for Sangam Ventures investment opportunity of US$ 300,000. Moreover, it received investment from 91 Springboard.
At present, the company has collaborated with seed companies working on newer technologies like blockchain, edge computing, IoT, and microbiology in agriculture.
“We are in the piloting stage of the seed-vision product with some of the industry leaders. The product is getting incredibly positive responses from these piloting, saving a lot of time and resources,” Das says proudly.
Recently, Agdhi also announced that it has joined NVIDIA Inception, a program designed to nurture startups revolutionizing industries with advancements in AI and data sciences. NVIDIA Inception will allow Agdhi to grow its business with go-to-market support, training and technology assistance. The program will offer an opportunity to collaborate with industry-leading experts and other AI-driven organizations.