Shailendra Tiwari
Nov 3, 2020 · 4 min read

There are certain things that just stick with you. These things don’t leave your side in thick and thin. They don’t leave your side when your mind is freely wandering, neither they leave your side when you are deeply occupied in a string of thoughts. There is one such thing that has stuck with us at Fasal since 2017. This wasn’t a collective happy or a sad memory, neither was this a moment of triumph or anything that ingrained its presence on our minds. It rather was a data point, a plain yet astonishing truth which fascinated us. It piqued our curiosity. It held us in such a powerful way that we started discussing it a lot. And when i say a lot, I really mean an abnormally lot amount. It always found its way in our conversations. And that data point was

“Globally 70% of the total freshwater is used for agriculture. And in fact India leads the world in annual agriculture water withdrawals.”

In the year 2018 the world bank group published a report named “Beyond crop per drop” in which they mentioned that India withdrew a total of 761 billion metre cube of water (latest data available in FAO, 2016a), out of which the agriculture water withdrawal was a staggering 688 billion metre cube.

That’s about 90.4% water being consumed for agriculture in India.

In the extremely early days of Fasal we did understand that our agricultural practises consumed a lot more water than was truly needed. But the understanding of exactly how much water we genuinely need was a good question to ask. And we did continue to ask this question very frequently.

Irrigation is one of the core tenets of Fasal as a product. Irrigation is something we have been working on since day 1. The question that we have been looking to answer through our product is when and exactly how much water does a crop precisely require at each stage of its growth to ensure that neither the crop is stressed, nor the farmer has over irrigated. And after deploying Fasal across 1000’s of acres now there are certain things that we have concluded factually. These learnings can be summed up into these 3 points

  1. Farmers definitely over irrigate and this behaviour is common across regions and across crops in India.
  2. Categorically speaking about horticulture, we have documented numerous cases where the farmer irrigated 30–40% less than the previous season with the help of Fasal’s plot specific irrigation recommendations and had more yield and better quality as compared to previous seasons. So ‘more’ is definitely possible with ‘less.
  3. Farmers doing horticulture do understand that over irrigation leads to biotic and abiotic stress but given that water is ‘free’, it lacks inherent motivation to care for each litre.

We have been experimenting for a reasonable amount of time to find an extremely simple yet very effective way to build this motivation to care for each litre among farmers. The idea is to have a continuous nudge with an inherent motivation in which the farmers start caring for not only each litre but slowly progress to caring for each drop of water. These thoughts and experiments (and a lot of idea exchange between all the stakeholders of Fasal) lead to the excitement and launch of a concept which we have been working on.

Very happy to announce the launch of what we call FASAL WATER CREDIT ™

The idea is pretty simple. For every crop, across soil textures there is a certain level of water at the feeding root zone of the crop that is definitely excessive and farmers must avoid this amount of water level.
Fasal’s farm specific, crop-specific and crop stage specific systems keep a continuous track of what is the water level in this rootzone. To very simply explain FASAL WATER CREDIT ™, our systems will record hour by hour if the level of water is less than this excessive limit or not. Every farmer who maintains water below this level for a certain number of hours in a month, Fasal will refund his entire monthly subscription that we charge for our advisory. In essence every time a farmer saves water for India he makes money for himself.

We have been playing with various other versions of this concept but found this one was effortlessly understood and accepted by Fasal farmers. We also witnessed the playful “who has how many hours so far” game popping up in a select group of our early farmers enrolled into this. Taking these indications positively, from the 1st of this November 2020, we are launching it for all Fasal farmers across regions who are in an active crop season. We believe that ideas like these are going to take us a long way in ensuring that the world bank group puts India in a very different and encouraging list when they publish their “Beyond crop per drop” report in 2030.

We intend to continue working on FASAL WATER CREDIT™ actively and plan to introduce more and more intrinsic motivations within the Fasal system to make sure that Fasal becomes a powerful force for sustainable and progressive farming in India.

Agriculture organisations which are working actively in ensuring sustainable water usage in their production practises should definitely reach out to us to explore how Fasal can flawlessly help them do so.

Read how Fasal is making Pomegranate farming more prosperous, precise and sustainable


Fasal is an AI powered IoT platform for Agriculture…


Fasal is an AI powered IoT platform for Agriculture ecosystem that records a variety of growing conditions on the farm. It then uses artificial intelligence and data science to make on-farm predictions, before delivering the insights that matter into your hand.

Shailendra Tiwari

Written by

Founder at Driven by desire to identify, understand and eloquently solve problems and create business value.


Fasal is an AI powered IoT platform for Agriculture ecosystem that records a variety of growing conditions on the farm. It then uses artificial intelligence and data science to make on-farm predictions, before delivering the insights that matter into your hand.