Says it employs science and tech-based farming methods; aims to scale if UP govt shows interest
Noida-based agritech company Leads Connect Services on Saturday launched a pilot project ‘SIGMAA’ in Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh by partnering with 200 farmers in two villages and plans to scale it up in the entire State subsequently if the government shows interest.
“Starting from this kharif, the project in these two villages will be spread over four seasons in two years. There are two aspects — one is demonstration and another is advisory and supervision,” said Navneet Ravikar, Chairman and Managing Director of Leads Connect Services, explaining how the module works.
He said the company has taken on lease 20 acres of land where Pusa 1,509 Basmati variety will be grown in a scientifically similar lab condition to assess the yield and quality, and will be compared with the same produce grown by partner farmers.
“We have not advised farmers what they should grow. Our selection of crop is based on what they have been growing here already, though selection of Basmati is also backed by a technology-based crop suitability analysis to determine the best crop for the region. The only difference is while we will manage everything in our farm, farmers will have to manage based on our suggestions,” Ravikar said, adding the company would supply key inputs such as seeds, fertiliser and pesticides.
Various tech used
After calculating the Agricultural Credit Score (ACS) for each farm and farmer, Lead Connect will supply seeds, fertilisers and pesticides based on expert advice, said a company executive involved in the pilot project.
During the crop cycle, real-time monitoring will be conducted in-situ and through the one-stop digital platform. Satellite and IOT/UAV will be leveraged for continuous data collection, the executive said.
Asked any specific reason for selecting Bareilly, Ravikar said it has potential to be a market linkage hub as the city is not only in proximity to the commercial nodal centres of India but it is also a thriving urban cluste, making it an indispensable requirement for building a sustainable value chain.
Lead Connect has also told the farmers that it will buy their produce at prevailing market rate if they wish to sell, otherwise they are free to sell anywhere including mandi.
“We understand that agri marketing is key for farmers’ income enhancement. It is just the beginning. Tomorrow if the results are promising, then companies may show interest for contract farming. Since presence of more than permissible limit of pesticides residues in agri products is a global issue, we are sure that our farmers’ Basmati will not have any such concern and it may become a first choice for exporters,” Ravikar said.
High value returns
The Seamless Digital Implementation and Ground Monitoring Platform for delivering end-to-end AgriTech Analytics (SIGMAA) study aims to identify and develop district specific crop variety for high value returns for the farmers.
During the launch event, Lead Connect demonstrated drone technology to farmers of Tulia village and it was also mentioned that the company would utilise this technology for spraying fertiliser and pesticide in ’ field.