Proximal Soilsens provides a low-cost soil moisture sensor specifically developed for Indian Farmers to improve the efficiency of water use and result in conservation of water and improvement in the yield of the soil.
It’s an indigenously developed affordable soil sensor system to optimize irrigating based on the soil and crop. It is a modular device which consists of multiple sensors to track soil moisture, temperature, humidity which require low power processing. The system is powered by a solar cell and can work for 3 – 4 days without solar energy. The entire system is made modular, where each component of the system like solar panel, signal processing unit and sensors can be replaced individually. The height of the system is adjustable, and it can be varied from 1 m to 3 m based on the crop height so that the crop doesn’t block the solar panel. Data from all the sensors are logged into a mobile using GSM. The data can also be made available to the cloud and can be used for further analysis.
Our Mission: “To bring affordable technology in agriculture to improve the economic conditions of Indian farmers”
In India, agriculture uses 80% of available water and out of which 40% of water is wasted. Over-irrigation causes the leaching of nutrients from the soil contaminating the ground water and reduces crop yield. The efficiency of water usage in the agricultural fields needs to be improved. With this motivation, the Soilsens team from IIT Bombay comprising of 4 passionate Ph.D. students working under two professors with an expertise in areas like electronic system design, signal processing, sensor development, agriculture sensors, and embedded system design developed a low-cost Indian patented soil monitoring system for precision farming. The company is incubated by Society for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (SINE), IIT BOMBAY.
The system is embedded with a soil moisture sensor, soil temperature sensor, ambient humidity sensor, and an ambient temperature sensor. Based on these parameters’ farmers are advised about optimum irrigation using a mobile app. The developed system finds application in open farms, greenhouses, gardening, and research/agricultural labs.
The system is indigenously developed at one fifth of the cost of commercially available systems. The developed technology will benefit the farmers, farmer groups, agricultural institutes, industries (corporate farming) and research labs around India who are currently using the high cost imported products. Service after sales is a major cause of concern for the imported products.
An experiment at IIT Bombay helped to save electricity, water, time and manpower cost
They have also tied up with bigger players in the industry to conduct their pilot projects with varied requirements. Sula Vineyards were paying heavily for the water in their farms, their focus was to actively monitor the water required to ensure judicious use as well as cost reduction.
The solution not only derives commercial benefits for the users but it also entails the other benefits in form of Sustainable agriculture which can be defined in many ways, but ultimately it seeks to sustain farmers, resources and communities by promoting farming practices and methods that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities.
The current system majorly saves water, electricity and reduces manpower usage. The scale of benefits differs for different stakeholders
1. Farmers & farmer groups – Apart from improving irrigation efficiency and reducing cost, it highly reduced the risk associated with waterborne diseases. Generally, waterborne diseases can damage up to 60 – 70% of the whole crop size impacting the farmer's profits. This system is a boon for the farmers aiming from the drought-prone region which helps them in better water management for the crops. The system will be deployed in agricultural farms and poly-houses for controlled irrigation with precision farming, which will result in a significantly improved yield up to 40% depending on the crop type. The general ROI for farmers tends to be 1.5 – 2 years whereas farmer groups tend to be less than 1.5 years as they have better bargaining power due to their large scale of purchasing.
2. Corporate and Institutional farming – The current system has a direct impact on the bottom line of the company as it is backed by substantial cost reduction. Cost of the water is one of the important cost drivers for corporate farming and this soil moisture sensing system when integrated with their IT system through cloud enables them to take Better farm decisions through improved information - not just more information. From a recent study, it was found that
i) 50% of the companies found the information generated relevant for them and less than 10% indicted with was not relevant
ii) 85% have improved their knowledge/ability to assess soil moisture compared to prior to the project, with the most used indicator of soil moisture still being rainfall records
iii) 100% have indicated they will continue to use some form of technology to monitor soil moisture levels in the future.
It is hoped that continued access to this information will assist informed input decisions. This will minimize inputs in low decile years with a low soil moisture base and maximize yield potential in more favorable conditions based on soil moisture and positive seasonal forecasts.
Social and environmental benefit
With vision given by Government of India for irrigation “Per drop more crop”. The company bringing out the advanced affordable technologies to the agriculture industry and making agriculture industry sustainable and profitable. This will improve the standards of Indian farming.
In the current scenario, the sensor alone cost Rs 25,000, Proximal Soilsens provides the whole equipment in Rs 20,000. They have installed their product in various regions of Maharashtra, Pune, Gujarat etc.
An affordable, accurate soil monitoring system with easy calibration, which can be used for precise irrigation. The system measures various parameters like soil moisture, soil temperature, atmospheric temperature, and relative humidity and advises the farmer about the optimum irrigation required. This prevents over irrigation as well as under irrigation resulting in an improved yield. In addition, this leads to an efficient use of water resources, thereby preventing the reduction in groundwater levels and saving in energy. The whole idea is to make the agriculture sector, profitable and sustainable by improving the crop yield through efficient usage of water and to raise the Indian farming system and farmers to a new level.
Proximal Soilsens Private Limited
Pune, Maharastra, IN
Number of Employees:11 to 50
Soilsens gives the solutions for optimized irrigation for agriculture.
Their aim is to make the agriculture sector, profitable and sustainable by improving the crop yield through the efficient use of water.