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ICAR-CTCRI Secures Patent for Smart Farming e-Crop IoT Device

e-Crop simulates crop growth in real-time and provides precise nutrient and water management advice, revolutionizing agricultural practices for higher yields and sustainability.

Saurabh Shukla
ICAR-CTCRI Secures Patent for Smart Farming e-Crop IoT Device (Photo Source: CTCRI)
ICAR-CTCRI Secures Patent for Smart Farming e-Crop IoT Device (Photo Source: CTCRI)

Thiruvananthapuram-based ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI) has achieved a significant milestone in the area of agricultural technology with the development of the Electronic Crop (e-Crop), an innovative IoT device designed for smart farming. Recently, the Indian Patent Office granted a patent for this groundbreaking invention, marking a crucial moment in the agricultural sector.

The e-Crop device serves as an electronic crop simulator, revolutionizing traditional farming practices by harnessing the power of real-time data analytics. By integrating data on weather patterns, soil moisture levels, and nutrient status, the device offers farmers invaluable insights into crop growth dynamics. Utilizing a sophisticated crop simulation model, e-Crop calculates precise nutrient and water requirements, empowering farmers to make informed decisions at a daily time scale.

Dr. Santhosh Mithra, a respected principal scientist at ICAR-CTCRI, is the inventor of this innovative device. Dr. Mithra's innovative approach has paved the way for a new era of precision agriculture, characterized by enhanced efficiency and sustainability.

Field demonstrations of the e-Crop-based smart farming (e-CBSF) initiative have yielded promising results across various crops, including cassava, sweet potato, elephant foot yam, and banana. Farmers participating in these demonstrations have reported significant increases in yield while simultaneously reducing nutrient and water usage by up to 50%. This achievement can be attributed to the device's ability to manage spatial and temporal variabilities in soil and plant properties effectively.

Beyond its immediate benefits to farmers, e-Crop holds the potential to address broader environmental challenges. By narrowing the yield gap and improving nutrient use efficiency, the device contributes to reducing the carbon footprint associated with agricultural practices. Furthermore, the generic nature of the technology enables its adaptation to a wide range of field crops, offering scalability and versatility in its application.

Collaborative efforts involving various stakeholders, including the Kerala State Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, ICAR institutes, IIT Palakkad, Digital University Kerala, and the Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII) Kottayam, are currently underway to further refine and deploy e-Crop technology. These partnerships underscore a collective commitment to harnessing innovation for the betterment of agricultural practices and sustainability.

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