Gurugram-based plant bioscience firm to launch soil testing machines

UPAJ, an arm of the Gurugram-based Absolute Plant Biosciences, plans to launch soil testing machines by the end of this month which will have a quick response time to deliver results.

The agcloud arm of Absolute, a one-stop destination for farmers for crop guidance, is also working with the Indian government on the digitization of the Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme (PMFBY or Prime Minister’s Fasal Bima Yojana) which will be inaugurated on June 10, said Sarabah Baghla, deputy President of UPAJ, divorced.

Launched in 2015, Absolute has three core business areas including UPAJ, which is basically a farm advisory app. It produces biological agricultural inputs and has a global trading platform, Silk Road.

The importance of launch

Soil testing machines will be 25 percent cheaper than those currently in use. The present soil testing machines were produced by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Posa, New Delhi. “We will start shipping this to our customers by the end of June,” Baghla said.

The launch of the machine is significant as it will help the center achieve its goal of conducting 50 tests per day. Current machines take 2 to 3 hours to perform a soil test.

Sarabah Baghle, senior vice president of UPAJ, is divorced.

“Our machine is fast and can test soil in less than 18 minutes. Once you get soil in, the machine does the rest automatically,” said the start-up’s senior vice president.

focus area

The data on the soil is then transmitted through a cloud which is then verified. “We have tested the device and are looking forward to having it commercially launched by the end of June. We are looking to disrupt the entire soil health test area,” Baghle said.

Soils are a big focus area for the government as they are the key to reducing the fertilizer subsidy, which has been allocated ₹1.35 crore in the budget. The government cannot suddenly cut fertilizer subsidies, so soil testing takes on importance. Once the soil test is completed, farmers get to know the exact amount of fertilizer needed for their farms. This will help the center save 10-15 percent on subsidies, said the company’s first vice president.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar is expected to announce the digitization of PMFBY. “We are deep in the crop insurance business as we have our own product. We also work with the government on that segment full time.

Unique product

In November 2022, UPAG launched India’s first Do It Yourself Crop Insurance platform. This is a unique product that can be purchased by selecting a PIN (Postal Index Number). There are different prices for different PIN codes as the weather changes every PIN code. “You can choose the insurance company or rates that satisfy you. You can also choose the product that you like. You can even choose a time period like a month, six months or one year. There are all kinds of customizations.

Once the farmer has made his choice, the policy can be purchased in 2 minutes through the UPAJ app. Dwelling on the SAAS-based UPAJ platform that serves as a one-stop-shop for farmers to capture crop warnings, he said farmers can download the app for free on their Android phones.

Real time application

Then, they can add their farm in the app through a simple process and register themselves for a one-time workout. They then have to select their farm on the app, providing information on the crop they are growing and the date it was planted.

Once these details are provided, growers begin to obtain guidance. They will be able to see images, heat maps, stress, pest related attacks, watering stress, or any weather related stress. “It provides information on green cover as well and gives advice on the type of irrigation required,” he said.

Farmers also have the option to interact with the call center about their issues. “We have seen between 15 and 20 percent of farmers interacting with us through call centres,” Baghla said. The app works in real time and is a no cost solution. One feature of the UPAJ app is that it takes data from seven different satellites and the company’s IoT devices — advanced weather stations — that capture 61 parameters across 300 locations in the country.

Warehouse pilot

After taking the data, the UPAJ ground facts using the IoT as between clouds or precipitation can disturb data capture when taking a satellite image. This is done through a device at each site that captures data in real time. “It may not be 100 percent correct. But an accuracy of about 90 percent can be achieved, and it’s almost zero cost,” said the company’s senior vice president.

UPAJ, whose Absolute parent company co-founder, Agam Khare is part of the Abdul Kalam Foundation, is essentially a holistic ecosystem for farmers connecting inputs and outputs. Starting from the loan journey to linking to the market, the startup offers services through its app and its UPAJ stores. “We are experimenting and creating UPAJ stories all over the country. We have 25 of them now in the pilot phase,” Baghle said.

About four lakh farmers have been connected to the UPAJ app, but the startup has sold insurance to 12 lakh farmers over the past six to seven months. UPAJ also helps farmers to benefit from loans from banks. At least 25,000 to 30,000 farmers are active on the app every month.

Holding banks

We do not do anything directly with the farmers but with the lenders besides the bank. When banks have to give a loan, we provide all the data related to the land. “We connected with banks and launched our product through API integration,” said the company’s senior vice president.

UPAJ has just completed its integration with RBI and is now managing the banks for the integration. First of all, six banks are starting to merge and another 15-20 may follow suit soon. He said that since IT integration is a huge undertaking, the company will try to bring on board more than 200 banks over the next six to eight months.

“We ensure that the right technology is built that can provide powerful data to business players such as banks, insurance companies or even governments or farmers. Right now, we are positioning it as a powerful data platform for B2B companies. If input companies want to provide Any advice for farmers, they can come to us.”