Google Announces Association with Agri-Tech Company for Sustainable and Affordable Soil Testing Techniques
Google announces a partnership with nurture.farm, an agriculture tech open digital platform in India, to devise scalable and cost-effective solutions for checking soil health and measuring parameters such as soil organic carbon and other key nutrients.
Soil health plays a significant role in reaping productivity and crop yield in the agricultural sector. But intensive agricultural farming and poor land practices have deteriorated soil health, adding to climate change.
Farmers depend on chemical-based analysis techniques to test soil health. The method allows for collecting soil samples and testing them in a laboratory. The approach has been challenging because there are limited testing facilities, low awareness, and high logistical and operational costs.
Google and nurture.farm have carried out several studies to expedite sustainable activities across India.
The collaboration will provide the farmers with quick and affordable soil health measurement techniques and help them make the most optimal choices with regard to seeds, crops, and nutrients in all seasons. It will also give the farming community a good return on their investments.
Manish Gupta, Director, Google Research, said: "We look forward to our collaboration with nurture.farm, utilising Google's suite of AI and imaging technologies, Cloud, and advanced geospatial analysis and machine learning expertise to help unearth long-term solutions for sustainable agriculture."
Pranav Tiwari, the Chief Technology Officer of nurture.farm, said: "At nurture.farm, our objective is to bring advanced and innovative technology-led solutions to ease the decision-making process and improve outcomes for farmers, with a focus on smallholder farmers of India. With this collaboration with Google, we are working to develop a scalable, real-time and cost-effective method to measure soil quality."
To accurately measure soil organic carbon (SOC) and other nutrients in soil, the teams will use hyperspectral image processing and other remote sensing and data collection methods. They will use this method to look at a wide range of soil types and features that are typical of India's agricultural environment.
This type of soil testing will aid in the provision of low-cost soil testing services to farmers across India, guiding them toward strategies to improve soil health and selecting appropriate crops, input items, and operational practices, resulting in increased yields and income.