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Friday, December 20, 2013

Agriculture Innovators and Disruptive Technology

Over the past year, we came across several agriculture innovations and related start ups. Most of these services are localized to their area of origin while others are truly ground breaking and still in beta mode. Looking at the world vegetation and water risk charts below, it is not surprising that most of these innovations come from location with water deficit. Along the same lines, it is to be expected that most research is focusing on revitalizing barren landscapes and developing creative irrigation methods. 

Worldwide vegetation cover
 Global water deficient area

Despite varying degree of product maturity, we felt all of these were interesting and full of promise. Below we share a couple of such companies which our community may find interesting or even inspiring. Power to the pioneers!

Just Awesome

International Fertilizer Development Center  (www.ifdc.org)
Fertlizer Deep Placement (FDP) technology is a simple technology spreading very rapidly in Bangladesh and is being up scaled up in other Asian countries for production of rice and other crops. They claim the results to date to be excellent. In Bangladesh about 2.8 million ha involving more than 4 million farmers is under FDP technology. With flood irrigation, farmers are using 35% less urea fertilizer and yet getting 15-18% increase in yield.

Aquanue (www.aquanue.com)
Aquanue’s SICRA system is a proven aquaculture technology that has been developed over the past 40 years. The aquaculture system can grow high-value groupers (and other species) in half the time taken in sea cage systems, with one-tenth the mortality. The business is modular, scalable, organic, and has a low environmental footprint.

Really Cool..

iCow (www.icow.co.ke)
iCow is a mobile phone based agricultural platform aimed to increase small scale farmer productivity at the same time reducing risks. This platform sports the worlds first mobile cow calendar monitoring the gestation cycle of the cow. Farmers claim to increase milk yields by up to 3 liters per animal after using iCow for 7 months. With a name like 'iCow', our bovine friends are feeling the Steve Jobs affect as well..

XA Warehouse Farming (www.verticalfarms.com.au)
This is an automated growing system that is scalable to meet demand with low labor, power and water inputs, and high crop yields. The focus is on urban farming, often in warehouse location, with the intent of designing high yielding systems for rapid ROI.

Love to try it!

Coolplanet (www.coolplanet.com)
Poised to revolutionize the energy and agricultural industries with its clean energy system, Cool Planet has developed a patented process that converts non-food biomass into gasoline. The benefits? Less dependence on importing oil, improvements to agriculture and impacting climate change. The clean, renewable fuel can be distributed and used in today’s vehicles with no change to existing infrastructure.

BioLumic (www.biolumic.com)
Their claim is an innovative new UV lighting technology that provides the ability to control plant size, growth and increase stress tolerance. Though limited to Greenhouse applications and indoor cultivation, their product could be god-send for greenhouse operators in significantly increasing yeild and reducing time-to-market.

On a closing note, some may notice that none of the above are Indian organizations. However, this does not mean that grass-root innovation does not occur all over India - the fact is probably quite the contrary. Unfortunately, access to such information is not always easy. Our readers should feel free to use this forum and can take the initiative to bring those to light for greater collaboration and information sharing with our community.

Credits : Maps of the world

1 comment:

  1. nice blog !! i was looking for blogs related of animal feed suppliers . then i found this blog, this is really nice and interested to read. thanks to author for sharing this type of information.