Crop Management System: Moving Towards Smart Agriculture!

Alackrity Consols
Aug 2, 2018 · 5 min read

An whole new arena of industry began when the early man gave up on his nomadic lifestyle & decided to grow his own food for sustainability. Colonies & settlements began to emerge. Cultivating & maintaining crops became the primary activity for sustenance with the early man. The fear of on-ground predators was absolved with thick boundaries, ensuring safety of the growing settlements. The early man developed tools & equipments that aided in producing food. The world has seen many tumultuous events such as the great depression & industrial revolution, which help establish a scientific practice in growing more quantity of food. A new industry was born and agriculture became a widespread practice to feed the growing population.

Penetration of technology was a fruit from the industrial revolution. With effective farming tools & equipment, agriculture has become scalable & profitable business. Scientific innovations have introduced modern agriculture practices. Currently, Agriculture is the oldest & the largest industry that exists.

Crop Management System: Role of IT in Agriculture

In the modern day, the role of Information Technology has become significant. With the growing need for food across the globe, the role of IT has taken precedence in the agriculture industry. From GIS mapping to Data Science, the current age of information is yet another chapter in the evolution of technology. While the world spins faster, farming still largely remains nascent and penetration of IT is rudimentary with the lack of solid framework for emerging technologies such as Big Data & Machine Learning.

Every crop has a unique life cycle based on the geography. Alackrity’s Crop Management System, CMS for short, accommodates any type of crop irrespective of the period of lifecycle. CMS is a software application on Cloud that assists in monitoring & managing the complete life cycle of any cash crop from sowing, maintenance until harvest to ensure best yield in diverse & dynamic agriculture conditions.

The software application is designed to be as simple as possible keeping in mind the non-IT savvy user community and is customisable up to individual farmer, geography & variety of crop with IoT & e-commerce enablement.

Key Technical Highlights:

  • Mobile, Web enabled Online real-time platform on Cloud, hence less dependent on power.
  • Compatible with any device, any location — Works best on GPS enabled handheld Android PoS devices, Micro ATMs, Smart phones & Tablets and conventional laptop computers
  • Farmer recognition through KYC on Smart card
  • Access technology Independent — works on 2G/3G/4G/Broadband/Wi-Fi & any others to come
  • Fully customisable according to type of crop, geography, demography, weather condition, crop monitoring schedules, number of harvest cycles, Alerts, reminders & notification and more
  • · Works both on Online & Offline (‘store & upload’) mode
  • · Geo survey (GIS) integrable

How it works:

The highlighted functional workflow of CMS with the use case for Sugarcane is explained below for ease of understanding. Sugarcane in India has a cultivation life cycle of 180 days (mid-July — mid Dec).

Click to enlarge

CMS is suitable for field officers who undertake surveys to monitor crop growth & assist farmers in fertiliser/pesticide input & promote scientific agri practices. The application can also be used for onsite registration of farmers for KYC (Know Your Customers).

To monitor the crop growth, each life cycle is split into different investigatory process called Doc 10, Doc 20, Doc 30 and so on, depending on number of investigatory process required for the particular crop growth. Extension services can be availed by farmers at any stage of the investigatory process. For example, Farmers can avail loans for purchasing seeds, agriculture equipment, Pesticides/weedicide/fertilisers. The application hosts an e-commerce portal from which farmers can purchase various agriculture commodities, fertilisers crop insurance etc.

CMS enables full a) scale collection of digital data, details of crop growth progress (from sowing to harvest) using IoT integration to various digital devices such as soil & water tester, GIS system (inclusive of Geo probes) or manually entering types of seeds, fertiliser used etc. The platform is also capable of extending essential services through PPPP (People Public Private Partnerships).

Some of the extension services are:
1. Finance & Insurance: Micro finance, Loans, credits & Insurance
2. E-commerce: Agro equipment, seeds, fertilizers & pesticides and more.
3. Agro assistance: State & private Agriculture Scientific research institutes and agro industries

Payment module enables online payment transactions with the associated banks, which can be beneficial for availing micro credit, loans & insurance.

Central monitoring portal @ Factory/State Agriculture Department/Scientific Institutes/ Consumer industries

Crop Management System (CMS) is built to be simple and usable by on-ground field officers. Apart from monitoring & management of crop growth, CMS can pave way for technology driven opportunities that enables agro-industries, state departments to nurture the livelihoods of the farmers and their communities.

Impact on Agriculture

On Farming communities

Click to enlarge
  • Transparency & crop trackability — Building credibility
  • Increase in yield with periodic assistance from the cooperatives & Agri-based scientific institutes such as National Institute for Agricultural and Livestock Research (INIAP)
  • Incentives & benefits for best performing farmers (crop incentives, fringe benefits for the farmer community such as free healthcare facilities, rural employment)
  • Support & subsidies to under privileged & sub-par producers to increase yield
  • Urban services to Rural areas for elevation of farming communities
  • Real time data on crop demand & supply thereby pricing forecast
  • Business & trading exposure to global buyers

Impact on Agriculture business

  • Capacity building for farmer organizations, paves way for modern farming practices
  • Increased Productivity focusing on quality yield
  • Demand pattern from consumer industries — forecast in market trends
  • Employment to youth through agro-tech — “Incentive-based earnings”

Want to understand how this fits into your set up? We Would be happy to help you with your answers! Feel free to explore our other IT enabled products for agriculture at www.aconsol.com

If you want access to our exclusive brochure which gives you an in depth details on how CMS works, we would be happy to drop it in your inbox!

Blurred? We will make sure we have clarity delivered! Write to us here:

Alackrity Consols

Written by

At Alackrity, we design & build collaborative technology solutions that help create a positive social impact at the grassroot level.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade