Sachin of Sidlaghatta - A Day in the Life of a Progressive Farmer
How many calories did you have for breakfast today? My guess is that I had about 700. A couple of idlis, 2 tablespoons of peanuts and some full cream milk. Did you know that it takes about a liter of water to grow one calorie of food?
In India, an average adult consumes around 2300 calories in a day.
Around 65% of 136 crores of people are adults. Now multiply them and let that
sink in for a minute. That is an awful lot of water.
|Progressive farmer Sachin at his Smart Farm powered by Yuktix GidaBits in Sidhlaghatta, Chikkaballapur district | Photo Credit: Shailendra Singh, Yuktix.|
Please meet Sachin. He is a farmer from Sidhlagatta. The fact that it takes a liter of water to grow a calorie of food means an awful lot to him. He farms in an arid climate. The life of his family depends on irrigation. Sachin toils every day. He wakes up at 4 am to feed his goats and cows. Prepares his children for school. Then he is off to his farm. It is an eleven kilometers long drive in the hot blazing Sun. He is carrying a 50 kilograms bag of fertilizer in his chota-hathi. It was expensive to purchase. He has to sell a goat to pay for it. He knows it is worth it, as this fertilizer contains precious nutrition. He is hopeful that this year the crop will turn out well.
Despite being a farmer nearly his whole life, Sachin still struggles with day-to-day irrigation decisions. When he reaches his plots today the soil looks dry on top but it could be moist underneath. Last season he learned a lesson the hard way about what happens if you put too much water.
All that irrigation and rainfall washed away the fertilizer from the crop roots. The plants turned yellow. They did not yield very well and it was a disaster. But he also knows that he does not want to hold off watering too long as well. Earlier this season he waited until the plants were visibly dangling in the hot midday Sun. By the time he realized, it was already too late. He lost some yield. He thinks to himself, “Would not it be fantastic if I somehow knew how much moisture is in my soil?”. So that I know for sure on any given day whether I should be irrigating or not.
Sachin does farming
on his own. Sachin knows that a lot of his fellow villagers apply water often
when they do not need to. But he does not have firm evidence to show that. A
lot of people are watering because the water is there every day and it is free.
This is where our team comes in.
Ray of hope
We are Yuktix Technologies. It is a govt recognized startup striving to create remote monitoring & sensor analytic solutions, especially in Agri-domain. And our team has invented a simple yet ingenious digital device. It is called GidaBit. A combination of two words ‘Gida’ & ‘Bit’. 'Gida' means ‘Plant’ and ‘Bit’ means ‘Information’. Named so as it gives soil moisture and other information about crops that Sachin needs. Moisture sensors measure the status of moisture levels. On the App, the button turns dark blue if the soil is very wet, Red if it is really dry, and Green if the moisture is just right. By looking at the colors he can immediately visualize how much moisture is in the soil.
He does not have to look at the numbers and graphs. He looks
at the color patterns. Sachin has GidaBit
to tell him how much moisture is in the soil. He can also check POP (Package of
Practices) guide. It has all the information he needs at different crop stages.
So, Sachin arrives on his plots today. The soil looks dry on top. Then he checks
the App. It is showing Blue Color. The GidaBit
App is telling him with the blue lights that it is moist. He does not need to
irrigate today. That is fantastic. He has
got additional time to do things like weeding or attending to other small
business which he runs back in the village. His family is pleased that he has
got more time up his sleeve. This is the advantage of GidaBit.
Sachin is excited about this idea. He is a busy man. His teenage daughter studies at a boarding school. He has not seen her for weeks. It takes a full day trip on the local bus to visit her. He can plan a surprise visit to see his daughter. All thanks to Yuktix GidaBit.
So, from next time when you are sitting down for a meal. Think about how much water it may have taken to grow that food. I urge you to marvel at how such a simple digital device can make a difference in lives of people. I ask you to support the farmers. They work hard to grow food for us. They create jobs for our communities and they look after our environment. Thank-you.
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