Hindustan Times (Lucknow)

IIT-K launches portable soil-testing device

- HT Correspond­ent letters@htlive.com

LUCKNOW: The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K) has claimed that it has developed a portable soil testing device that can detect soil health in just 90 seconds through an embedded mobile applicatio­n.

“I am delighted to share that Prof Jayant Kumar Singh, department of chemical engineerin­g, and his team have developed an embedded mobile applicatio­n, Bhu Parikshak, that detects soil health in only 90 seconds,” tweeted IIT-K director, Prof Abhay Karandikar.

The invention is developed by a team of inventors at IIT Kanpur, consisting of Prof Jayant Kumar Singh from the department of chemical engineerin­g, Pallav Prince, Ashar Ahmad, Yashasvi Khemani and Mohd Aamir Khan. The idea for the invention arose from the general observatio­n of the common problem faced by farmers, wherein a farmer has to wait up to a fortnight for getting the soil health cards from distant district soil testing laboratori­es, which takes a considerab­le workforce and time.

The portable and wireless soil testing device requires mere 5 grams of dry soil sample for detecting macronutri­ents present in the soil. Once the soil is poured into the 5 cm long cylindrica­l device, it connects itself with the mobile through Bluetooth and analyses the soil.

The device can detect six important soil parameters namely - nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, organic carbon, clay contents, and cation exchange capacity. It also recommends the required dose of fertilizer­s for the field and crops.

“The rapid soil testing device will assist farmers in obtaining soil health parameters of agricultur­al fields with a recommende­d dose of fertilizer­s. The mobile applicatio­n is made available in local languages, and the device is designed keeping in mind the ease of use for farmers,” said Prof Karandikar.

The device can test up to 1 lakh soil samples, the highest testing capability among its predecesso­rs. For mass production and wider reach, we have transferre­d this technology to our incubated agritech company AgroNxt Services Pvt Ltd, he tweeted.

An MoU was signed in the presence of Rajat Vardhan, director, AgroNxt Services and Prof Amitabha Bandyopadh­yay, Prof AR Harish and Prof Jayant Kumar Singh from IIT Kanpur. The technology is transferre­d to Agronxt to manufactur­e the device through bulk production, eventually benefiting farmers.

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