Published: 13th December 2021
IIT-K develops farmer-friendly device to detect soil health in 90 seconds
The portable and wireless soil testing device requires a mere 5 grams of dry soil sample to detect macronutrients present
The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT-K) has developed a portable soil testing device that can detect soil health in just 90 seconds through an embedded mobile application. The technology, titled Portable Soil Testing Device or BhuParikshak, will assist individual farmers to obtain soil health parameters of agricultural fields with recommended dose of fertilisers.
The first-of-its-kind invention is based on Near Infrared Spectroscopy technology that provides a real-time soil analysis report on smartphones with an embedded mobile application named BhuParikshak, available on Google Play Store.
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 fertilisers for the field and crops.
"Farmers are our caretakers. But they face a lot of hardships. One such hardship is getting their soil tested and waiting for the results for days. That will not be a hassle anymore. I am delighted with the team from IIT Kanpur for developing such a novel device that will assist individual farmers in assessing the health of their soil in almost no time," Prof Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT-K, said in a statement.
The device can test up to 1 lakh soil samples, which is the highest testing capability of a soil testing device among its predecessors. The portable and wireless soil testing device requires a mere 5 grams of dry soil sample to detect macronutrients present. Once the soil is poured into the 5 cm long cylindrical device, it connects itself with the mobile through Bluetooth, and starts analysing the soil, which takes 90 seconds.
After the analysis, the results appear on the screen in the form of a soil health report, which is accessible on BhuParikshak cloud service with a unique ID. The report also comes with a recommended dose of fertilisers.
The mobile application is made user-friendly through the user interface, which is available in local languages, such that even a Class VIII pass can easily handle the device and the mobile application, the institute said.
The rapid soil testing technology has been transferred to an AgriTech company named AgroNxt Services, which will aid in the manufacturing and marketing of the device to farmers.