Editorial Team

One of IIT Kanpur’s path-breaking inventions, Bhu-Parikshak rapid soil-testing device that came out last year has been launched as a product in the market. The device developed by a team led by Prof. Jayant Kumar Singh from the Department of Chemical Engineering, and consisting Mr. Pallav Prince, Mr. Ashar Ahmad, Mr. Yashasvi Khemani and Mohd. Aamir Khan, is licensed to an agritech company, AgroNxt Services. With a short span of time, the product has now been made ready for use by general public, and has been launched in the market at a launch event on 26th May, 2022 at the auditorium of IIT Kanpur’s Start-up Innovation and Incubation Centre (SIIC) in Noida.

This first-of-its-kind novel device is capable of detecting soil health in just 90 seconds through an embedded mobile application. It would assist individual farmers in obtaining soil health parameters of agricultural fields with recommended dose of fertilizers without having to go to a laboratory. The device is based on Near Infrared Spectroscopy technology that provides real-time soil analysis reports on smartphones with an embedded mobile application named Bhu-Parikshak available on Google Play Store.

Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director IIT Kanpur, said, “Our primary objective with the Bhu-Parikshak device is to offer our farmers relief in terms of testing the health of their soil. This is a task that is usually very tedious for them as they have to rely on laboratories far away from home. We’re proud to share that now that the device is launched as a product, it’ll be a great boon for our farmers in lessening the hassle of testing their soil. I congratulate again the team led by Prof. Jayant Kumar Singh and the AgroNxt team for making the device ready for the market in a short period of time.”

The product launch ceremony commenced with first showcasing the Bhu- Parikshak device, followed by an open round of discussion with the panelists, moderated by Mr. Hemendra Mathur, Chairman – FICCI Taskforces on Agri Start-Ups. The panelists comprised IIT Kanpur Prof. Jayant K. Singh, Inventor and Supervisor, Bhu-Parikshak; Dr. Javed Rizvi, Director, CIFOR-ICRAF Asia Continental Program; and Mr. Jitendra Saklani, Head Marketing Strategy and Innovation, Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals Limited, wherein they opined on the milestones and potential of different tech-driven products to address the shortcomings in Indian agriculture ecosystem.

The event’s chief guest Prof. Ankush Sharma, Co-PIC, SIIC IIT Kanpur, termed the soil testing device a game-changer in the market, as the existing solutions for soil testing are manual and time-consuming, whereas the current product provides real-time information about the soil health in just 90 seconds. The event was also joined by Dr. Nikhil Agarwal, CEO-FIRST; Mr. Piyush Mishra, COO-FIRST; and Mr. Ravi Pandey, REO, IPR Cell at IIT Kanpur.

Live demonstration of the soil testing device was done during the event, by instantly detecting six important soil parameters namely – Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Organic Carbon, Clay contents and cation ion exchange capacity, with the use of only 5 grams of dry soil sample. Soil health report was also generated, which can be easily accessed on the Bhu Parikshak mobile application with unique ID.

To enhance the availability of Bhu-Parikshak to wider markets, AgroNxt signed MOU with Nova Agritech Limited and Nutrikosh India Private Limited. Mr. Rajat Vardhan, Director and Founder of AgroNxt, added that he is eagerly looking forward to the expansion of its reach across the country. AgroNxt, an incubatee at SIIC, IIT Kanpur, has been engaged in providing a platform for catering the products and services to the Indian farmers, and this would be a major landmark to integrate real-time soil detection feature through a Bluetooth-enabled device on a mobile app.

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