Rural & Marketing - - FRONT PAGE - Manag­ing Direc­tor, WRMS Sonu Agrawal

What are the ma­jor ar­eas of op­er­a­tions of WRMS, es­pe­cially for agri­cul­ture sec­tor?

Weather Risk Man­age­ment Ser­vices ma­jorly fo­cuses into two ver­ti­cals in agri­cul­ture sec­tor – Agri­cul­tural Ser­vices and Agri­cul­tural In­sur­ance. The com­pany helps the farm­ers to ac­cess in­sur­ance ser­vices so that he can cover his un­fore­seen risk in agri­cul­ture. This also helps in im­prov­ing in­come sta­bil­ity of the farm­ers make agri­cul­ture more sus­tain­able for them.

Due to er­ratic weather, the farm­ers have been suf­fer­ing from its va­garies, thus, weather risk man­age­ment be­comes a very im­por­tant fac­tor for the agri­cul­ture sec­tor, so how has been the impact of your weather risk man­age­ment ser­vices?

Impact of our ser­vices are many. Through farm ser­vices, we

im­proved farm­ers’ con­fi­dence, im­proved in­come sta­bil­ity through adop­tion of prac­tices that can min­imise farm­ers’ risk and en­sure steady pro­duc­tion. By op­ti­mis­ing agri­cul­ture pro­cesses and pro­vid­ing mar­ket ac­cess to the farm­ers , we are play­ing a role of cat­a­lyst in dou­bling their in­come. Impact of our in­sur­ance ser­vices is very pos­i­tive and a large num­ber of farm­ers got ben­e­fited. WRMS has left an in­deli­ble foot­print on the lives of a num­ber of farm­ers till date by min­imis­ing their crop loss risk to a large ex­tent.

How many farm­ers are get­ting ben­e­fited from your weather risk man­age­ment ser­vices and in what ge­o­graph­i­cal ar­eas?

We are ex­pand­ing rapidly. We op­er­ate in 22 states now. Bar­ing Jammu & Kash­mir, Kerala and a few North Eastern states, the com­pany is present in al­most

ev­ery state. Mil­lions of farm­ers are get­ting ben­e­fited through our ser­vices. Fo ex­am­ple, through farm ser­vices, over 15,000 farm­ers got ben­e­fited di­rectly. Crop in­sur­ance cov­ered over 3 mil­lion farm­ers.

What po­ten­tial do you see in the us­age of Geospa­tial tech­nolo­gies and re­mote sens­ing in agri­cul­ture sec­tor?

There is a lot of po­ten­tial in the field. Weather Risk is al­ready us­ing geospa­tial tech­nolo­gies and re­mote sens­ing to map the field, gather soil in­for­ma­tion, crop nu­tri­tion statis­tics like chloro­phyll, organic mat­ter and mois­ture. Even crop dis­eases can be ef­fec­tively judged through these tech­nolo­gies.

How do these tech­nolo­gies mon­i­tor stand­ing crops and an­a­lyse weather risk? Also brief us in the con­text of WRMS’ ser­vices.

Geospa­tial data is gath­ered through the WRMS owned weather sta­tions which col­lect many vi­tal weather statis­tics like tem­per­a­ture, rain­fall, hu­mid­ity and also soil mois­ture. Weather Risk uses the re­mote sens­ing data to mon­i­tor crop in­for­ma­tion like over­all plant health and dis­eases. They are also cur­rently de­vel­op­ing an in­te­grated so­lu­tion to project wa­ter re­quire­ments and avail­abil­ity in any de­fined area. Geo-spa­tial tech­nol­ogy and Re­mote Sens­ing helps the farmer by pro­vid­ing him with prior in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the crop health. Plot soil prop­er­ties, dis­ease impact, bad weather impact on crops are also avail­able. It also pro­vides the crop pro­duc­tion es­ti­ma­tion be­fore har­vest­ing.

Ed­u­ca­tion is a big road­block in the ap­pli­ca­tion of such high­end tech­nolo­gies, what is the way out?

From the field ex­pe­ri­ence, WRMS has seen that the re­cep­tiv­ity and e ea­ger­ness among farm­ers to learn i is al­ways there. The main is­sue h has been that the real needs of t the farm­ers have been mostly m mis­un­der­stood and hence the r right so­lu­tions have not been p pre­sented. Weather Risk has made c con­sid­er­able progress in the field o only be­cause of its un­der­stand­ing o of the farmer and his real needs.

W What meth­ods do you ap­ply f for dis­sem­i­nat­ing agri­cul­ture i in­for­ma­tion ser­vices and how do t they help farm­ers?

W WRMS reaches out to the farm­ers mai mainly through its mul­ti­ple ver­ti­cals of busi­ness. Our strong field team is al­ways in con­tact with the farm­ers and pro­vides them with all rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion. We have a com­pre­hen­sive farm ser­vices por­tal called 'my farm info' and an in­sur­ance so­lu­tion named 'weather se­cure pro' which have all de­tails to help the farm­ers both with farm sup­port and crop in­sur­ance.

Tell us some­thing about your Ac­cu­farm ser­vices?

Ad­vanced Pre­ci­sion Farm­ing So­lu­tions im­ple­mented by Weather Risk Man­age­ment Ser­vices to help the farm­ers to get the in­sights of dif­fer­ent tech­nolo­gies, an­a­lyt­ics and risk man­age­ment prac­tices. Ma­jorly, pre­ci­sion farm­ing, risk man­age­ment crop pro­duc­tion, so­cial impact as­sess­ment, ICT in­te­gra­tion and out­put man­age­ment are the main el­e­ments of this tech­nol­ogy. It aims in op­ti­mis­ing re­turns on in­puts and also on pre­serv­ing scarce and nat­u­ral re­sources. Var­i­ous test­ings are in­volved in Ac­cu­farm tech­nol­ogy that in­cludes Soil and pH test­ing, pathogen load test, and crop mod­el­ling us­ing cli­mate, and soil in­for­ma­tion. Ac­cu­farm ser­vices also helps in pest man­age­ment and weather fore­casts.

What are the big­gest chal­lenges do you face in pro­vid­ing these ser­vices and how do you tackle them?

The big­gest chal­lenge is to tackle with the op­er­a­tional prob­lems. We use a strong field team and bet­ter field to tech­ni­cal team co­or­di­na­tion to achieve this. We need to fur­ther ex­pand the reach of ser­vices to ben­e­fit all farm­ers. We are also de­vel­op­ing the next level of re­struc­tured datasets for weather in­for­ma­tion to cre­ate a trans­gen­er­a­tional impact in the field of agri­cul­ture in­for­ma­tion.

WRMS is al­ready us­ing geospa­tial tech­nolo­gies and re­mote sens­ing to map the field, gather soil in­for­ma­tion, crop nu­tri­tion statis­tics like chloro­phyll and mois­ture. Even crop dis­eases can be ef­fec­tively ex­am­ined through these tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions

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