From designing weather risk management services to developing the world’s first income-guaranteed smart & sustainable farms, WRMS is home to numerous national and international firsts. Be it devising the world’s 1st village-level insurance settlement solution using low-cost AWS, or creating India’s first solution that combined Index Insurance with Farm Advisory and cutting-edge Weather Forecasting Services, the company has always helmed innovation in the sector. WRMS is also the first organization to launch Index Insurance in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Fiji. With its team of 500+ multi-disciplinary experts across Agricultural Science, Data Science, Meteorology, Actuarial Science, and Information Technology the company is always working upon breakthroughs that can make the agriculture and dairy sector more robust.
With over 2.5 million farmers served, 1 million acres of land geo-tagged and 10,000+ IoT devices installed, WRMS is a leader in the agriculture and dairy risk management industry. Under its Comprehensive Agricultural Risk Management Solution, WRMS has become a global pioneer in Income Guaranteed Smart & Sustainable Farming Solutions. Having an expansive experience of almost two decades in the sector, WRMS has worked prolifically with some of the leading names in the agro-input and procurement industry like Pepsico, Safal, ITC, Mother Dairy, etc. along with Government and Govt-run bodies like NCFC, Bihar Government. Apart from this, it has also partnered time and again with multilateral agencies such as Work Bank Group, UNCDF, and insurance bodies like ICICI Lombard, HDFC Ergo, to name a few. Mr. Anuj Kumbhat, Founder & CEO, WRMS, share more insights on the same.
- How technology is playing major role in new-age agri revolution in India?
Ans – Technological advancements in the agriculture sector meet the growing demand for farm automation, digitalization, and sustainability. Emerging agriculture trends mark a shift towards smart farming and efficient utilization of time and resources while reducing crop losses. Smart farming is an upcoming concept that deploys technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), computer vision, and artificial intelligence (AI) for farming. Robots and drones are accelerating farm automation by replacing manual farm operations such as picking fruits, killing weeds, or water spraying. Imagery from drones and satellites, coupled with the Global Positioning System (GPS), provides a high-resolution and location-specific view of the field. Further, IoT devices, powered by sensor technology, collect real-time field data that allows farmers to make data-driven smart decisions. In addition, the widespread adoption of precision agriculture and indoor farming in recent years has fueled IoT growth in farming. Taken together, these technological innovations generate disruptive and sustainable changes in agricultural practices. The focus is to not only improve the overall quality and quantity of crops and enhance livestock management, but also to achieve the ultimate goal of a sustainable future.
- How IoT And AI In Agriculture Are Revolutionizing Farming?
Ans – There is no industry niche that has not started to enjoy the benefits that IoT and AI have to offer. The agriculture sector is no exception. These technologies together have successfully revolutionized the agriculture industry in ways one cannot imagine — combating the most common problem the world is facing, i.e., bridging the gap between food demand and supply.
Farmers must adopt new technologies to meet the growing need for food and to improve crop quality. In this regard, smart farming employs AI and IoT technologies to assist farmers in increasing production. Let’s understand how:
- IoT and AI technologies ensure healthier crops by monitoring soil, temperature, humidity, and crop-specific growing conditions. Real-time updates through continuous observation ensure reduced crop wastage.
- These new-age technologies help farmers collect data to relieve their workload and automate a wide range of agriculture-related tasks such as Irrigation Drones, Automatic Irrigation, and Automated Farm Machinery, etc.
- Data-driven forecasts help improve agri-business returns and improve the functioning of the food supply chain.
- IoT smart applications help control costs due to excessive utilization of resources like water and electricity. They can ensure timely irrigation and pest control from anywhere through connected devices and automatic systems.
- AI product development, powered by ML, can help farmers analyze genetically modified seed information and precision sowing. In traditional agriculture, the use of fertilizer and pesticides is based on manual estimation.
- Collecting data and analyzing it can help farmers mitigate farming risks. They can estimate demand and forecast sales. Connected methods will also help them streamline business processes better than done manually. They can remotely control the batch to be stored or sold. They can calculate total costs to work out a profitable selling price for each crop.
- Real-time monitoring through IoT technology improves the agility of agricultural processes. Prediction systems allow farmers to prepare for changes in growing conditions. The health of crops is adjudged against the weather, humidity, and air quality. Proactive measures to save the crops against infestation and bad weather ensure less wastage.
3. Please throw light on your company and its flagship product “SECUFARM”?
Ans – SecuFarm is the world’s first smart and sustainable farming solution that provides a guaranteed income to the farmers. It enables farmers to overcome the most difficult agrarian challenges, such as insufficient rainfall, weather attacks, crop diseases, pest attacks, lack of irrigation, acidic soil, low soil nutrients, agrochemical use, and more.
When farmers enroll in the SecuFarm app, their farms are geo-tagged for farm level monitoring. Their farms are digitally monitored using drones, satellites, and IoT sensors to give them farm level real time information on weather forecast, crop health, pest attack, soil nutrients, irrigation requirements, and more. Farmers get all information of their farm health through the SecuFarm app and text alerts. As farmers follow SecuFarm’s Package of Practices, they get a higher benchmark yield, which is also high in quality. This increases the market demand for their product and gets them good returns. And if their yield is below the assured yield, they get timely compensation. Thus, the farmer is never at risk with SecuFarm.
We provide data driven real time advisory to the farmers which is fetched using our indigenously manufactured IoTs. Our Automatic Weather Station (AWS) helps in generating weather forecasts using grid-level data. The Automatic Pest Monitor (APM) helps monitor all kinds of pests and provides the pest density remotely by attracting the pest and capturing the image. Whereas, an Automatic Soil Moisture (ASM) sensor provides real-time analysis of the soil health – soil moisture, physical properties, structure, and nutrient content of soil – of a particular area. AI technology and deep learning are applied to historical data of weather, yields, etc. to provide estimated values of present data wherever other sensors are unable to capture real-time data.
- Agriculture IoT Market May Set New Growth? How WRMS is contributing to it?
The agriculture industry is witnessing a major shift nowadays due to the technologies of industry 4.0. The farming industry benefits from technological development, from planting and irrigation to crop health and harvesting. IoT solutions are focused on helping farmers close the supply-demand gap by ensuring high yields, profitability, and protection of the environment. The approach of using IoT technology to ensure optimum application of resources to achieve high crop yields and reduce operational costs is called precision agriculture. IoT in agriculture technologies comprises specialized equipment, wireless connectivity, software, and IT services.
WRMS is massively contributing to it as we are the manufacturer of low-cost agriculture IoTs. Ingen Technologies Private Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of WRMS, is a leading IoT manufacturer of automatic weather stations, automatic irrigation systems, pest traps, survey drones and soil moisture sensors. The company recently collaborated with Regional Meteorological Centre, Guwahati, Assam, India, Meteorological Department (IMD), and the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of India, and bagged the contract for procurement, installation, and maintenance of Automatic Rain Gauge Stations in the North East States of India. The company is working with many government organisations like Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre, Andhra Pradesh State Development Planning Society, and more.
WRMS Smart farming techniques supported by IoT technologies enable growers and farmers to scale back waste and enhance productivity, starting from the amount of fertilizer utilized to the number of journeys the farm vehicles have made, enabling efficient utilization of resources like water, electricity, etc. IoT smart farming solutions may be a system that’s built for monitoring the crop field with the assistance of sensors (light, humidity, temperature, soil moisture, crop health, etc.) and automating the irrigation system. Farmers can monitor the sector’s conditions from anywhere. They can also select between manual and automatic options for taking the necessary actions to support this data. For example, if the soil moisture level decreases, the farmer can deploy sensors to start the irrigation. WRMS smart farming techniques are highly efficient when compared with the conventional approach.
- How & why Technology without risk management will not address farmers’ problems? How does WRMS integrate holistic tech-based interventions?
Ans – Farming involves risk. Farmers take risks every day and make decisions that have an impact on their business. The weather can change, prices at harvest time could decrease, hired labour might not be available during busy times, machinery and equipment could break down when most needed, draught animals might die, and government policy can change overnight. These risks have an impact on the farm’s profitability.
Farmers can control future risks and adapt to climate change with the aid of risk management techniques and technologies. The agro- sector and policymakers are both searching for strategies to make the sector more resilient to risks from weather, markets, and other shocks and to make it easier for it to adapt to climate change. Farmers are better equipped to deal with risks and uncertainties by developing resilience, which is the capacity to anticipate, prepare for, absorb, recover from, and adapt to bad occurrences. In fact, they may even gain from any new opportunities that these factors may present.
On this frent, WRMS provides farmers with SecuFarm that de-risks farming and helps farmers achieve better yields and guaranteed income. We help farmers with our SecuFarm app from seed selection to sowing, crop management, pest control, weather advice, harvesting, and the post-harvest phase. The latest technology solution in the agricultural sector helps farmers with accurate real-time agricultural data collection. Farmers can also connect with our agri experts through our app for instant solutions for the health of their crops. We offer IoT based agriculture services like accurate & real-time weather forecasting using Indigenous Automated Weather Stations to measure parameters like temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind speed, wind direction & solar radiation every second. Remote pest monitoring is done using electronic traps and image processing algorithms. We also help farmers plan smart irrigation using automatic irrigation switches which save their time, efforts and water. Thus, we offer holistic tech based agriculture solutions to our farmers which make farming risk-free, sustainable and profitable for them.