In India, farmers are mostly poor due to the low productivity (yield per hectare) of all major crops. Take paddy and wheat. Yield from a paddy field in India is 3,500-kg per hectare, while China and Bangladesh have these figures to boot 7,000-kg and 4,500-kg, respectively. The produce from Australia and the US are nearly 10,000-kg and 8,500-kg, respectively. Similar is the case of wheat, while Indian figure is about 3,000-kg, China has 5,000-kg, the average in the EU is 6,000-kg, and that of New Zealand is nearly 8,000-kg. The same pattern continues with other crops too. So, the answer lies in increasing stagnant yields of our produce.
Recognizing the challenges faced by the farming community, we, Team Knights decided to try and understand their problems to develop a solution.
Problem definition: How can we help a farmer to overcome low productivity?
After much deliberation and brainstorming, we decided to go ahead with an AI-based mobile application. The application was endeavored to be useful for all farmers. It is available in more than 17 languages and very easy to use with the following services available,
Our journey was laborious but exciting. We started working from the ground up. We discussed difficulties encountered by the farmers and how to solve them with the combined efforts of our team and farmers’ groups. Also, how they could be developed and enhanced by strengthening these efforts with modern technology. We thought of many ideas and created an app that addresses all the prim problems and helps them achieve a rich farming experience at a lower cost and sell at the right price through a network.
We decided to build crop procurement centers. The Government of India has opened many crop buying centers to give full support price to the farmers but, the crops are not sold directly but through the middlemen. Thus the farmers do not benefit but the middlemen.
We motivated farmers to gain high advantage crops and offered to choose the crops that earn more benefits at low cost and give more profit to the farmers. We can reduce their expenses by procuring crops directly from farmers and thus benefiting them.
We invent an application where the farmer registers himself and provides information to our team members about their operating conditions. Like, what crop he has, quantity, and how much quality he has, etc. We pick up the harvest from various farmers in one go. We will reach the grain market with the produce from several small farmers for a lesser price with fresh and quality crops, and farmers will get the cost benefits.
The primary problem we had faced will be working in a rural background. Second, we had to talk to the villagers in the language they understood, and we had to ideate so that they not only understand our words well but also relying on them to apply them to further their farming.
At the innovation camp, we learned various skills, like meditation, working as a team, getting over stage fear, and critical thinking. Several topics in innovation camp like day-to-day learning of new skills, activities were very good. The most enjoyable ones were, building culture and mindset innovation, design thinking, finding a problem solution, and mind maps. The stakeholder mapping and how to use mural activity individually and in groups were extremely enjoyable.
The IBM Innovation Camp experience will help us a lot in our career ahead because we have learned many things from here that we believe will be useful for whichever path we choose. We were fortunate to be a part of this initiative that now we dream of thousands of ideas and ways to execute them, even opening a small business undertaking.
Through this experience, we have learned many low-cost profit-generating techniques.