Young Minds from 24 Universities present new perspectives towards reshaping Indian agriculture
NewZNew (Chandigarh) : CII Agro Tech 2016, witnessed Agri Hackathon (AgHack), a 20 hour hacking session that brought together a mix of young minds with diverse backgrounds to develop applications on pre-identified themes at Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Headquarters, Chandigarh.
As many as 67 participants from 24 Universities and Institutions from all across India, including IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Kozhikode, IIT Madras, IIT Hyderabad, NIAM, Orissa Agricultural University, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Anand Agricultural University and Punjab Agriculture University among others, came up with technological solutions in the form of mobile applications to address some of the most pressing challenges related to sustainable practices confronting Indian agriculture.
Tejaswi Boggarapu, Mona Kumari, Mana Mohanty, Tushar Nana Patil and Hitendra C. Badgujar were adjudged as the first prize winners , for their solution in Crop Insurance and were awarded Prize Money of Rs. 1, 00,000. Pranav Kumar, Devi Prasad Shukla, Gowsaliya R. and Shashank Kumar bagged the second position, for their solution in Data Processing and Analytics with a cash prize of Rs. 50,000.
Considering the vast extent of crop damage in India, a comprehensive solution to economize usage of inputs, improve crop productivity, soil health conditions and delivering the extent of human interface were the critical components of the technological solutions to be developed.
One of the Mentors, Mr Ilay Englard, CEO & Co-founder, ATP Labs, Israel said, “It is so good to see inspiring ideas coming from the participants across major challenges in current food systems in agricultural sector such as soil health, crop health, agricultural marketing network, data processing and analytics, single window for crop insurance benefits and dairy farm management. As a mentor I found that many teams needed guidance on building a sustainable model and design solutions to get a good market and I assisted them in the same. CII FACE has organised a remarkable program on advanced technologies providing a perfect platform to experts, entrepreneurs and academia.”
The AgHack solutions were evaluated for their relevance, effectiveness, novelty, ability to scale and go-to-market plan.
Participants Ankita Slathia and Deepika Sharma from Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Jammu said, “Farmers’ inability to assess crop health and identify potential damage results in the loss of 20-30% of crop to pests. So, taking into consideration the extent of crop production issues we have come up with a technological solution that will help in pest detection and curb the menace.”
Mr Vivian Fernandes, Former Economic Policy Editor with CNBC-TV18 introduced the prestigious jury members Mr Sanjay Kadaveru, Founder & President, Action for India, Mr Swarup Beria, Principal of Omnivore Partners and Mr Girish Aivalli, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Rural Agri Ventures. Syncing with the technological innovations, jury member Dr. Joanna Roussaki, Assistant Professor – IoT systems and applications, National Technical University of Athens, Greece said, “CII Agro Tech 2016 is providing an amazing platform to students and motivating them to test the power of ideas that have the potential to address compelling challenges related to sustainable practices confronting the agricultural sector.”
The teams were given an opportunity to pitch their work before the jury. Tejaswi Boggarapu, Mona Kumari, Mana Mohanty, Tushar Nana Patil and Hitendra C. Badgujarwere recognized as the winners and were appreciated with a Prize Money of Rs. 1,00,000. Whereas Pranav Kumar, Devi Prasad Shukla, Kaushalya Ramaswamy and Shashank Kumar bagged the second position with a cash prize of Rs. 50,000. The participants were endowed with access to the Network of Agri startups, Venture financiers and Incubatorsplatform for further incubation and mentoring. Mr. Rohtash Mal, Chairman and Managing Director, EM3 Agri Services Pvt. Limited concluded the hacking session with a vote of thanks, leaving behind students in high zeal and verve.