Emotionally moved by reports of farmers committing suicide because of crop failure, 16-year-old Rishikesh Amit Nayak thought someone should go to the root of the problem.
Two years later, he has come up with a device, which can alert even an uneducated farmer about pest and bacteria attacks in his field and initiate remedial action to save the crop.
“Crop failure has many reasons, but the most common is pest attack. Once the crop is attacked by pests and the farmer is not able to detect it, it can destroy the entire crop,” Amit, a student of Class-XI at the DAV Public School, Chandrasekharpur here, said.
Amit’s device, which he has named ‘Kishan Know’, was on display at the exhibition for school and college students held at the SOA University here from November 17 to commemorate the birth centenary of legendary scientist Vikram Sarabhai.
“My grandfather is a farmer and I have seen him depressed when crop failure occurred. It motivated me to go deep into the problem and find out what could be done,” Amit said, adding that he has applied for patenting his device.
Amit, who took the advice of experts at the Odisha University for Agriculture and Technology (OUAT), said crop failures are generally caused by excessive rainfall and scarcity of water besides bacterial and fungal attacks. He focused on bacteria as it accounted for 80 per cent of the crop loss.
He developed the device to detect bacteria, fungi and virus in crops using the Internet of Things (IOT) to arrive at micro-level solution. “The requirement is a GSM module, a chip of circuit that can be used to establish communication and a thermal camera,” he said.
The prototype when developed properly would cost about Rs 1,500, Amit said, adding that the farmer would have to move around the field, in the perimeter where the pest attacks occur first, to take the thermal images of the plants. He would need to do the exercise twice, once in the morning and then in the evening, and send the data to a database for analysis.
“If any change is found in the plant temperature, it would indicate certain pest or bacteria attack in the field enabling the farmer to undertake remedial measures,” he said.