Automotive major Mahindra & Mahindra’s Farm Equipment Sector (FES), a part of the $19.4 billion Mahindra Group, on Wednesday announced it has rolled out Krish-e centres in Karnataka as part of the company’s new Farming as a Service business.
Krish-e is a business vertical that provides technology driven services which are progressive, affordable and accessible to farmers. Krish-e aims to increase farmer income through digitally enabled services, across the complete crop cycle. The centres have been launched in Jamkhandi, Mysore, Bijapur, Bidar and Gulbarga, according to a statement.
These include agronomy advisory, access to advanced farm equipment rentals and new-age precision farming solutions, all focused on bringing down overall farming costs and improving crop output and consequently the farmer’s income.
In addition to Karnataka, Krish-e centres have a presence across several states such as Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
“Although investments and technological innovations in agriculture have improved output levels in India, productivity and farm incomes have great scope for further improvement. At Mahindra, we want to do our part by making a difference in the way farming is done. With an increase in farmers’ incomes as the core focus, our vision is to provide technology at competitive costs to Indian farmers,” Hemant Sikka – President, Farm Equipment Sector (FES), M&M said.
Krish-e will leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to benefit the farming ecosystem. To enable this, M&M has made strategic investments across the globe including in Resson – a Canadian predictive analytics company, Gamaya – a Swiss hyperspectral image analytics company and Carnot – an Indian AI enabled agri IoT company.
“Through Krish-e, we have already impacted over 1 lakh farmers, with solutions tailored to demonstrate impact on cultivation costs, crop health and productivity. Krish-e currently has approximately 1,900 demo plots, where we work alongside farmers to showcase visible impact through a combination of agronomy inputs and advanced mechanisation solutions,” Ramesh Ramachandran – Senior Vice President, FES Strategy & FaaS, M&M said.
Krish-e Precision Farming solutions use a variety of sensors and cameras on the farm, on drones, on satellites and on farm equipment to collect soil, crop and machine data. AI (artificial intelligence) algorithms transform this data into user friendly maps, enabling farmers and agronomists to run variable rate farming operations, using machines.
Such operations are already helping potato, grape and sugarcane farmers reduce their costs of cultivation and improve their yields, M&M said.
Krish-e has launched three apps to deliver advisory and rental services in a differentiated and farmer focused manner. Advisory services are crop specific and farm specific. They include a customised and dynamic crop calendar and real time diagnosis and resolution of pest & diseases.
The rental app leverages an AI powered IoT kit that tracks equipment and work performed. The app is used by around 2,000 rental entrepreneurs currently. These three apps are available as Krish-e, Krish-e Rental and Krish-e Nidaan.