Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Punjab Government Partners with AgriTech Pioneer CropIn for Seed Potato Traceability

From next year, potato growers globally will be able to differentiate the certified, high-quality seeds produced by Punjab from other growers. Bengaluru-based agritech pioneer CropIn has partnered with The Punjab Agri Export Corporation (PAGREXCO), a Government of Punjab enterprise, to leverage CropIn’s AI-powered technology to improve the quality of potato seed production in the state and incorporate first-of-its-kind ‘Seed Potato Traceability’ in the entire value chain.

By leveraging QR-code tagging during the packaging and warehousing process, CropIn will ensure that potato farmers are able to trace the origin of the seeds that they are buying. They will know exactly where the seeds are coming from, and whether they are PAGREXCO certified. Given the sub-par, spurious seeds that are flooding the market and resulting in low yields and poor ROI, this certification can transform potato seed production. It will also play a big role in building trust and credibility for PAGREXCO’s seeds among potato growers.

Along with bringing traceability to the life cycle of seeds, CropIn also uses its cutting edge agritech solutions to improve the seed production process and help potato seed farmers produce superior quality seeds. CropIn’s value proposition for the seed value chain starts right from the R&D stage. During the R&D process, on-farm trials for new seed varieties are conducted across multiple plots, each with a different seed variety. A number of parameters have to be carefully monitored to decide which seed varieties meet the quality benchmark. The Seed R&D division requires actionable, real-time insights that help make data-driven decisions to ensure that only the best seed varieties move forward in the production chain.

Once the certified seeds from Central Potato Research Institute (CPRI) and aeroponic labs are received, PAGREXCO takes up a massive seed multiplication process in which the seed varieties are packaged into millions of seed packets. At the seed multiplication stage, CropIn will use a combination of three digital solutions — SmartFarm, SmartRisk & AcreSquare— to monitor the entire process, right from planning to production. The PAGREXCO field teams will configure a package of best practices on the CropIn platform, specific to the seed variety being produced. They will also get real-time intelligence about weather forecast, crop growth, crop health, potential pest infestations and crop diseases. This will help potato seed growers in Punjab to produce superior quality seeds and improve their efficiency. Finally, CropIn will also facilitate two-way communication between PAGREXCO and the seed farmers, allowing managers to share important plans, advisories, and instruction videos; and for farmers to have instant access to the PAGREXCO team.

CropIn will be working with PAGREXCO to ensure that these transformational measures get implemented from the next potato season. Commenting on the partnership, co-founder & COO of CropIn, Kunal Prasad said, “Punjab produces 27 lakh metric tonnes of potatoes every year, which means that ensuring high seed quality is absolutely critical. In fact, Punjab also caters to 60-70% of the entire seed potato demand in the Indian market. Hence, this partnership will not only impact the potato seed farmers in Punjab, but also potato growers across India and in the international markets. We are excited about partnering with PAGREXCO and being able to improve outcomes at such a large scale.”

CropIn currently works with multi-billion-dollar seed companies to build massive efficiencies in the seed value chain. These global seed companies are leveraging CropIn’s platform in more than 25 countries. This partnership with PAGREXCO is a big step towards digitisation and traceability in the Indian seed value chain. Today, agricultural institutions across the country are driving the transformative impact of building technological efficiencies into a long and arduous agricultural life cycle. Hopefully, more Government organisations across the different states will now take up the cause of technology-driven transformation in seed production.

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