Digital Farming: Enhancing agricultural values through technology enablement. A revolutionary product e-EMB (e-Energy Metering Box) proven to monetise power supply networks in rural and urban lives.
“Technology is driving the innovation. Technology is driving creativity”, a well said proverb by Ron Kind has proven to be certitude for mankind, leaping towards a smart world.
Thus, in the world where technology and innovation are cordially related and happen to build a prosperous future, rural farmers stake their eyes upon the advancements to yield for better productivity.
The intelligent minds have been playing to make the developing countries like India, a better platform for rural farms to sustain. For a quick check; farmers in India occupy over 50 percent of population and add nearly 13.5 percent to GDP. Ah ! A meaningful percentage. Adding on to the reality-check the farmers’ deficit in their production related to climatic changes, descending of fertility, droughts and crop damage. Enormous engineers, scientist and researchers have introduced ways and means to help farmers and farm to overcome agriculture problems and yield healthy, better and faster way.
An e-solution meter
Amazingly many technological findings have come up in the past and they are still ‘living-long’ which gave a new face to the agriculture sector.Yet, a lot is to be done. Here, an equally talented technology has proven to be the most beneficial innovation ‘e-EMB- Solution to Energy Metering Problems’, becomes a revolutionary product.
The e-solution meter is combo of a meter reading system and data analysis software that helps to calculate the meter electricity usage. The meter was introduced by Rakesh Patra from Puri, Odisha. Seeking the future prospects Patra’s innovation added values in electricity supply. The new smart electricity metering product works through GSM/GPRS modem which makes it very sizable and convenient to host.
Patra’s son Likan Patra briefly explains the mission behind the product. “As things are getting solar due to poor supply of electricity and yet to save life of electricity, the e-metre usage helps farmers to get economical supply of electric powers for farms,” says Likan Patra, COO, KPMP Electronics.
He future highlights that India will need 135 GW of power generation capacity before 2017 (if the losses remain at the same rate as they are today- 32 percent).
“In such situation e-EMB smart metering service can put a check on the instances of power theft and bill defaulters that are found dime a dozen. Also, it aims at electric consumption reduction and protection of houses and life from calamities as it can be switched off by the sending of a message from the control station,” explains Likan.
The smart box has been very popular in various rural villages. “Initially we did not find important to install the e-metering box for our farms. Later, after understanding the future perspective, we found this smart machine actually wonderful.We can control our farm irrigation and supply switches siting from our home. It helps reduce power supply, manpower expenses and enhance the quality productivity in much lesser time,” says a thirty-seven-year old farmer, Alok Manjhi.
Every farmer in our country is looking for each and every single percent of agri growth. “This can only be possible by joining hands with technology,” smiles Hemendra Mathur, MD, SEAF India Investment Advisors.
“A lot of data has been accumulated during the course of time by both private and government companies. Time, yet always look upon the execution part. Farm agri-tech being successful in drawing attention of farmers and accepting the change for better. Soil health policy is one of a successful example where farmers have enrolled certificates and demanding necessity queries related to soil health problems,” addresses Mathur.
The concept of e-meter though is a fresh introduction for the farmers, yet is steadily becoming a popular need. The circuits technology is actually becoming the fanciest technology for rural belts further adds Mathur.
On the other hand, Harjinder Singh Kohli, Vice President Airtel, who has something very importance to place his experience in front of agricultural reforms, says that in the era where everything we use in our daily life is changing faster and getting smarter — whether it’s a TV or a mobile phone, all these devices have evolved continuously, and that made him ponder why the electricity supply system hasn’t become smarter?
Back then, Kohli recalls and says, “In 2008 the telecom company along with an agri-based industry started low-cost subsidies handsets where farmers can commute and share agricultural problems and tips. Idea was to make the communication universal. It was a great hit and nearly 30 lakhs farmers became the proud customers of the product in the first year of its launch.”
The e-EMB (e-Energy Metering Box) has made the life of farmers faster, easier and productive. “The technology can be connected to any supply chain machine. The farmers can locate the main switch of controlling device at their home and can control and check the irrigation supply to their field even if the field was way far from the home,” highlights Kohli.“It’s a wonderful innovation to check electric supply. What more can be beneficial to farmers than this,” adds Kohli.
A revolutionary change
Smart metering systems market is slowly catching up with major MNCs and the government electricity boards are warming up to the idea. Various companies have started working to bring smart meters a revolutionary change and enable people to see the true value of Smart Metering Data.
Akash Dhanuka, an emerging entrepreneur for farmers is even coming up with a smart metering data box. “The e-meter box is an advanced and remodeled version of existing energy meters. The meter can easily be pole mounted or can be even mounted indoors. A unit installation can have multiple numbers of meter connections and all basic features such as collecting information or disconnecting the supply remotely. The electricity boards can monitor electricity usage real time, and if a particular household consumes more than the assigned load, these boards can disconnect the power supply,” says Dhanuka.
The farmers have very well appreciated the metering device and thus the technology makes farmers as well as urban life far fortunate, adds Dhanuka.
While asking Lekin what differentiates his product and team from the competitors, he says, “We have been working on this project for the last 14 years with the same team members from the beginning. So whenever a problem occurs, we sort it out easily. And as we are developing the hardware, software and communication modules of our own, it becomes very easy for us to work together.”
Lekin and his team are putting efforts on providing surplus amounts of energy and managing and monitoring the supply. Power leaks can be avoided by implementing smart meters that provide ease of maintenance and facilitate in power monitoring. “Most companies share B2B model the best one to follow and scale as compared to the consumer-focused model. But our model has been iterating over various designs and validating them with real life testing.We have made various models of the same product, we have already planned for the upcoming model which we will start working at the earliest,” says Lekin.
The team is trying to partner with other major players in the market for implementing the distribution of this smart meter. And on the other hand, when it comes to hardware, procuring raw material is a major concern for founders. The KPMP too experienced the same issues when he couldn’t manage to get his raw materials. Not one to give up, they managed the supply from China. “The product has been a silver spoon discovery for us. Hope this brings revolutionary change in agricultural sectors,” politely confesses Lekin.