Bhu-Vision: IoT-based automated soil testing & advisory platform

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In a significant development for agricultural technology, a revolutionary IoT-based automated soil testing and agronomy advisory platform, Bhu-Vision (also known as KRISHI-RASTAA Soil Testing System) was officially launched at AICRP (ICAR-IIRR), Hyderabad under the chairmanship of Dr. R. M. Sundaram (Hon. Director- ICAR-IIRR) recently. 

During the illustrious event, Dr. MBB Prasad Babu (Head, Soil Science & AICRP, ICAR-IIRR) was present as the Chief Guest alongwith other notable personalities like Dr. Brajendra (Principal soil Scientist- ICAR-IIRR), Dr. P Muthuraman ( Head, TTT, ICAR-IIRR), Mr. Sandeep Kondaji (Founder, CEO- KrishiTantra), Mr. Manish Raut (Business Head- Higronics, HiMedia Laboratories Private Limited and Mr. Melind Deshpande (MD,CEO – BhoomiSeva, HCF Tech Private Limited). Each of these distinguished guests played an instrumental role in bringing Bhu-Vision to fruition.

The KRISHI-RASTAA Soil Testing System represents a new era in precision agriculture. The technology is a testament to the power of collaboration, having been jointly developed by ICAR-IIRR and KrishiTantra. Manufactured by HiMedia Laboratories and marketed by BhoomiSeva (HCF Tech Services Pvt. Ltd.), this system seamlessly conducts 12 key soil parameter tests in just 30 minutes, providing quick, accurate results directly to farmers and stakeholders through a soil health card on their mobile devices.

The launch ceremony was an event to remember with a symbolic handover of 25 Bhu-Vision devices to ICAR-IIRR by the team of HCF Tech Services and its super stockists, including Kimaya Biotech and Shreenath Engineering. Notably, the ceremony saw virtual participation from the Agricultural ministry, Vietnam, who have expressed a keen interest in the technology. This international recognition underscores the global potential of the Bhu-Vision system.

The event was more than just a launch; it served as a platform for exchange and exploration of ideas. Every speaker, from Dr. R. M Sundaram to Mr. Melind Deshpande, contributed valuable insights on a host of important issues.

During his speech, Dr. R. M Sundaram, Hon. Director- ICAR-IIRR emphasised the need for strengthening the relationship between private partners and institutes to develop and commercialize products that can benefit not only India but also other SAARC and Southeast Asian countries. He expressed hope that this technology is very usefully and can be adapted by SAARC countries and many south-east Asian countries and could be an accelerator for schemes like the Soil Health card.

Meanwhile, Dr. Brajendra outlined the crucial role soil testing plays in the entire agricultural field and highlighted the key parameters vital to generating a comprehensive soil health card.

Dr. P Muthuraman underscored the importance of providing training to farmers and VLEs on soil testing, suggesting that ICAR-IIRR could serve as a valuable platform for such initiatives.

Mr. Sandeep Kondaji explained the importance of digitization in agriculture and the role data will play in decarbonising agriculture. He also provided insights on the upcoming International Conference on Decarbonising Agriculture (ICDA).

Mr. Manish Raut shared HiMedia’s journey in refining and manufacturing the Bhu-Vision system, emphasizing the company’s robust manufacturing capabilities, strict quality control practices, and expansive consumer reach.

Lastly, Mr. Melind Deshpande articulated the roadmap for taking this technology forward and the vital importance of soil testing for farmers. He illustrated a ‘shop in shop’ model adaptable by VLEs and introduced the financial support system available through the company.

Following the sessions, a live demonstration of the Bhu-Vision machine was conducted by Mr. Anil Gore and Darshan Patil from HiMedia, drawing interest from several AICRP centres, renowned scientists from ICAR, other institutions, students and field staff. This platform will play vital role in the nation to complete its soil health map and understand agriculture scenario.

The launch of Bhu-Vision (Krishi-RASTAA) signals a promising future for the nation’s agricultural technology landscape. This platform will play a vital role in completing the nation’s soil health map and gaining a more nuanced understanding of our agricultural scenario.