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An AI-based start-up helping farmers become smarter, richer

From using synthetic intelligence, coaching and workshops, iPage is displaying the best way to merge know-how and agriculture to alleviate farmers’ woes and enhance the agro-industry 

08 November, 2021, 10:15 am

Last modified: 08 November, 2021, 10:25 am

iPage conducts coaching classes to assist them higher perceive using know-how in agriculture. 
Photo: Courtesy 

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iPage conducts training sessions to help them better understand the use of technology in agriculture. 
Photo: Courtesy 

iPage conducts coaching classes to assist them higher perceive using know-how in agriculture. 
Photo: Courtesy 

 

When the Covid-19 lockdowns got here into impact final yr, farmers throughout the nation felt the brunt of it as their provide chains got here to a halt. 

“Everything was caught as a result of lockdown, I couldn’t promote my mangoes. I used to be helpless,” remembered Masum, a fruit farmer in Tangail. 

“The pandemic brought about a significant disruption in distribution, one thing we normally don’t assume a lot about. We produced however didn’t know learn how to promote, as the whole lot was closed,” stated Atikullah, a farmer from Gaibandha.

However, for a number of fortunate farmers who had been caught on this quagmire, issues took a flip for the higher. 

iPage invented an AI-based machine for immediate soil testing. It takes solely 30 to 40 minutes to check the soil and get data. Photo/Courtesy

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 iPage invented an AI-based machine for instant soil testing. It takes only 30 to 40 minutes to test the soil and get information. Photo/Courtesy

iPage invented an AI-based machine for immediate soil testing. It takes solely 30 to 40 minutes to check the soil and get data. Photo/Courtesy

“The iPage workforce got here to us, we acquired acquainted and linked them to the native farmers,” stated Abdul Mannan Akand, NGO Executive Director of Gono Unnayan Sanstha, Fulchori, Gaibandha. 

“They [iPage] conduct seminars, workshops, and take a look at the soil with their machine,” he added. 

NGO Gono Unnayan Sanstha works in partnership with iPage, a nationwide startup centered on discovering methods – utilizing a technologically optimised method – to maximise yield and total productiveness within the nation’s agro-production sector.  

The acronym iPAGE stands for Integrated Precision Agriculture and Engineering. 

“Recently, they educated three younger boys on soil testing to allow them to assist native farmers. Farmers right here will not be accustomed to soil testing. They have no idea the significance and the best way to do it. I by no means considered a machine that might take a look at soil immediately,” additional added Abdul. 

Mashrur H. Shurid (with a background in engineering) and Mohammad Saifullah Mithu (with a background in regulation) co-founded iPage in 2019. They turned passionate about entrepreneurship and felt that there was loads to do within the agricultural sector of Bangladesh. 

“The farmers are very weak and they’re those who get hit first in any catastrophe. Those who’re offering us meals, don’t have meals for themselves. We realised the need to do one thing useful for them,” stated Mashrur.

Photo: Courtesy

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 Photo: Courtesy

Photo: Courtesy

“We recognized three core issues that go away our farmers lagging behind: an absence of speedy soil-testing infrastructure, a lack of understanding, and the well-known incontrovertible fact that farmers can’t get market worth for his or her produce due to middlemen. A bridge must be constructed specializing in these three elements, and this understanding accelerated our startup,” stated Mohammad.

Atikullah from Gaibandha appreciates the continual assist he has been receiving for the final two years. Masum stated, “They got here right here, examined the soil and visited my orchard. They gave me invaluable solutions, made certain the mangoes reached the market and ensured that it was bought at a good value.”

The starting and operations

iPAGE began its journey underneath a B2C enterprise mannequin with solely 10 farmers. Initially, the service was freed from price. But it was difficult. Farmers normally imagine in conventional farming methods and so they had been suspicious of the startup’s solutions. Eventually, iPage needed to cost a minimal service price.

The firm later modified its mannequin to B2B and now collaborates with native NGOs following an inclusive enterprise mannequin. Now, greater than 1,500 farmers have benefitted from their providers.

“The farmers are very weak and they’re those who get hit first in any catastrophe. Those who’re offering us meals, don’t have meals for themselves. We realised the need to do one thing useful for them” 

Primarily, iPAGE works by means of two wings known as ‘Ankur’ and ‘Krishan.’ Simply put, Ankur is their manufacturing wing whereas Krishan is the advertising wing. The startup went reside with its prototype in October 2019, and to this point produced an estimated $1.6m price of gross merchandise quantity (GMV) from its advisory and buying and selling service.

iPAGE is at present creating an end-to-end resolution that features data-driven assist in manufacturing and distribution nodes. The resolution is an Artificially Intelligent Agricultural Information System.

As part of the Ankur mission, they invented an AI-based machine for immediate soil testing. It takes solely 30 to 40 minutes to check the soil and reveal details about its composition, pH and different traits.

Photo:Courtesy

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Photo:Courtesy

Photo:Courtesy

In the manufacturing node, the AI collects real-time information on soil and environment utilizing quite a few digital units developed by iPAGE. Then, based mostly on native educational analysis, historic information and authorities’s customary tips, the AI offers a website and crop-specific agricultural prescription. 

Furthermore, iPAGE offers each coaching to coach the farmers and plant safety providers, across the season. The soil testing, coaching and plant safety service fall underneath Ankur operations, the farm advisory service of the startup.  

On the distribution node, the AI helps farmers to attach with native shoppers and promote their merchandise straight at a good value. This buying and selling service is thought to the shoppers as Krishan, the advertising wing which incorporates obligatory data on market evaluation, together with product calls for, shopper behaviour, and so forth.

iPAGE launched Krishan amid the pandemic lockdown in May of 2020. Since, the startup has managed to mobilise almost a thousand tons of maize, onion, potatoes and dry chillies from the sector to the market. 

The startup can be working to boost the crop and agro-ecological zone protection for his or her advisory service. It would additionally give them the scope to introduce diversified crops to the native wholesale market. 

The co-founders imagine that the data-driven method will assist deliver stability in demand and provide in our nation’s agricultural {industry}, whereas supporting the federal government’s imaginative and prescient to attain meals safety and security.

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