Off to a fresh start
Sai Abhinay Chepuri is riding the tech wave to revolutionise farming and help farmers
At a time when farmers’ issues are taking centrestage, 20-year-old Sai Abhinay Chepuri is trying to see how technology can help rejuvenate agricultural practices through his enterprise Enviropromise, which was established in December 2019.
The B.Tech CSC student at Lovely Professional University (LPU) says, “I have always been a nature lover and participated actively in science exhibitions at school. To me, agriculture means by, to, and from nature. Plus, I always wanted to help farmers. What’s more, the faculty at my institute helped me learn about farming techniques.”
Before setting up his company, Chepuri and his team travelled across the country and spent a lot of time with local farmers to understand the various technologies they used. “We also studied their farming practices and researched about elements such as soil and water requirements, time lapse, weather requirements, crop harvesting, crop health, and more,” he explains. “Initially, the language barrier was a major problem but, with the help of local friends, we understood their perspectives.”
New-age vs. traditional
Chepuri believes that traditional methods of farming are effective but time-consuming, and the yield is comparatively low. Hence, there is a need to adopt scientific methods for quicker, more efficient practices and higher yields.“We are trying to introduce them to ‘Zero budget natural farming’ and mixed farming techniques, ways to use technology and gather knowledge on how to make and use natural fertilizers, which I learnt through discussions with my mentors in college and with farmers and experts from other fields across the country,” he adds.
Through his sub-brand Freshprouts, which has a website and phone app, he and his team help farmers learn more about organic farming and also provide a platform for them to sell their produce. Mission Bhoomiputra is yet another sub-brand through which Chepuri and his colleagues educate farmers about organic farming techniques using AI. “Through the app, each farmer will be assigned a unique ID based on the State, the soil, the crop, and so on,” explains Chepuri. “Our team will then show them on how to use the app. If they face any trouble, they can upload the information, and an expert team will guide them using virtual reality on why the problem occurred, and offer solutions. In case a farmer is unable to access the app, they can call a toll-free number and they will receive help within 48 hours.”
Chepuri is already considering expansion plans. “We have ventured into recycling technology by making products such as ash bricks and tiles from plastic waste and paper, pencils and other products from waste. We are at an early stage, but we plan to tap into the recycling space on a large scale soon.”