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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Making weather data easily available for grape farmers

Developed by Parag Narvekar, Sensartics has three levels of solutions aimed at individual farmers to an entire village. Narvekar, whose academic and professional career has seen him rubbing shoulders with scientists at IIT Bombay and NASA

Written by Parthasarathi Biswas | Pune |
February 25, 2021 2:46:22 am
Grape farmers, Nashik grape farmers, Nashik grape growers, grape growing weather, nashik news, indian express newsAt the village level, the company has full-fledged weather stations, which are called master stations. (Representational)

For grape growers in Nashik, the vagaries of weather are perhaps the most dreaded portion in the lifecycle of their crop. While various tools are available in the market, precision-based tools, which help farmers manage their input cycle in the most efficient manner, are lacking. An in-house and cost effective solution, developed jointly by Sensartics and Nashik-based Sahyadri Farmers Producers Company (FPC), can provide an answer to this problem, especially for grape growers in the region.

Developed by Parag Narvekar, Sensartics has three levels of solutions aimed at individual farmers to an entire village. Narvekar, whose academic and professional career has seen him rubbing shoulders with scientists at IIT Bombay and NASA, said the solutions offered by his company are much more economical than other solutions available in the market. “What we aim to do is arm the grape grower with the right technology and knowledge to make the right decision,” he said. Scalar stations are the entry-level solutions offered by the company, which are installed at the individual farm-level of small holders. Narvekar said sensors are installed at rootzone level of the vines to measure soil moisture, soil electrical conductivity and temperature. Similarly, the canopy has sensors that measure humidity, temperature and leaf wetness. Such data, Narvekar said, helps farmers manage and prevent fungal attack well ahead of time. “The cost of a scalar station is at least Rs 10,000 and annual maintenance is at least Rs 2,000,” he said. At present, seven such scalar stations have been installed in Nashik.

Tracer stations are designed for slightly larger holdings, which along with scalar stations, have rain gauge and other sensors. The rain guages help farmers understand and plan their irrigation plans better. The data from the weather stations, Narvekar said, can be considered for insurance claims, given the quality of the sensors available. These stations are priced at Rs 20,000, he said.

At the village level, the company has full-fledged weather stations, which are called master stations. Like all other weather stations, master stations are fully equipped with all sensors and equipment necessary for local level weather forecast.

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