Bhubaneswar, November 19 (LocalWire): Moved by reports of farmers committing suicide because of crop failure, 16-year-old Rishikesh Amit Nayak decided to understand the root of the problem.
Two years later, he has come up with a device that can alert even an uneducated farmer about pest and bacteria attacks in the field and initiate remedial action to save the crop.
“Crop failure has many reasons, but the most common is the pest attack. Once the crop is attacked by pests and the farmer is not able to detect it, it can destroy the entire crop,” Nayak said.
He is a Class XI student at the DAV Public School in Chandrasekharpur, and has already applied for a patent of his device.
The device, which Nayak has named ‘Kishan Know’, was on display at the exhibition for school and college students held here from 17 November to commemorate the birth centenary of legendary scientist Vikram Sarabhai.
The program was jointly organised by ISRO’s Satish Dhawan Space Center SHAR, Sriharikota and a city-based private university.
“My grandfather is a farmer and I have seen him depressed due to failure of the crop. It motivated me to go deep into the problem and find out what could be done,” he said.
Nayak, who took the advice of experts at the Odisha University for Agriculture and Technology (OUAT), said that 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, and developed the device to detect bacteria, fungi, and viruses in crops using the Internet of Things (IoT) to arrive at the micro-level solution.
“The device requires 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, Nayak said adding the farmer would have to move around the field, in the perimeter where the pest attack occurs first, to take the thermal images of the plants.
“A farmer would need to do thermal scanning of the plants twice a day, once in the morning and then in the evening, and send the data to a database for analysis,” he stated.
“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,” Nayak said.