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Techpreneurs integrated AI into hydroponic farms through their start-up

With monsoons becoming unpredictable in recent years, farmers remain anxious about their yield from sowing until they harvest their crop. With traditional farming methods becoming increasingly difficult in recent days owing to global warming coupled with other factors like loss of soil nutrients, two mechatronics engineers from Udupi are on a mission to take agriculture back to its heyday.

Farish Anfal and Calvin Aranha, both 26 years old, are budding techpreneurs who have integrated Artificial Intelligence (AI) into hydroponic farms through their start-up company, Krop AI. They started Krop AI in 2021 as a startup agritech company based out of Brahmavara in Udupi district. Over the last three years, the duo has done extensive research on solving problems in food technology and climate change using technology.

In their initial days as students at the Mangalore Institute of Technology and Engineering (MITE) in Moodabidri, Dakshina Kannada, they understood that their USP is agritech. They started working on a prototype, and soon research and development activities gained momentum, and they wasted no time in launching Krop AI. It was Farish's experience running a B2B seafood supply chain company in the past that helped him launch Krop AI with Calvin as co-founder.

On how the exotic crops are grown in the farm setup, Calvin explains that the PCB is connected to various sensors like pH, water conductivity, air temperature, humidity, and the HVAC system. It processes all the data collected and works in an ideal environment suitable for the plants. This means that for a particular plant, based on software inputs, the system irrigates and maintains temperature, humidity, and all other parameters. Meanwhile, grow lights mimic sunlight, but emit the exact wavelengths required for plant growth, nutrition, and flowering. An ideal plant requires light wavelengths between 600 and 700 nm for photosynthesis. For human eyes, they look purplish blue in colour.


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