Portable device to check soil health | Fusion - WeRIndia

Portable device to check soil health

Portable device to check soil health

Soil health is vital for the yield of a crop. As there are no cost-effective devices to test soil health, farmers are reaping the poor yield.

In this situation, a professor at IIT-Kanpur came up with an innovative solution. He developed a portable soil testing device or soil tester.

Jayant Singh is working as a professor at the chemical engineering department, IIT-Kanpur. His family has a close association with farmers professionally. Both his father and grandfather worked for the betterment of farmers for several years.

Jayant also decided to work for them. So, he developed a device for testing soil health and identifying its nutrients. He named it Bhu Parikshak. This portable device is accessible with a smartphone.

Before developing the device, Jayant started researching the soil testing process. He came to know that soil testing was an expensive process. Besides, farmers need to travel long distances to contact the agriculture department and wait several days for results. Though the test costs ₹150, the journey time and waiting time are making farmers exhausted.

So Jayant thought to design a low-cost innovative but simple solution to this problem. After several trials and errors, he designed a device along with his team of research students. He updated the final prototype as per the feedback of the farmers. This small portable device can deliver results within 90 seconds if five grams of dry soil is put in it.

The device was tested with soil samples collected from various places in the country for one year. The device satisfied farmers, as the success rate was at around 80 to 95 per cent. At the same time, the cost of each test is only ₹10.

The innovative device works on the principle of Near Infrared Spectroscopy technology to provide real-time analysis. The results are available on a smartphone. For this, farmers have to download a mobile application, Bhu Parikshak, from Google Play Store.

IIT-Kanpur collaborated with a company to make devices commercially, to bring them into the market. The device may cost about ₹50.

Image from Pxhere (Free for commercial use / CC0 Public Domain)

Image Reference: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1623239

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