Special IA: Companies take the farm to table (t)
AgNext has innovated several sensor-based devices to capture data that its AI algorithms analyze to determine quality
Illustration: Sameer Pawar
For co-founder and CEO of AgNext Technologies Taranjeet Singh Bhamra, the raison d’être of the Chandigarh startup was to create data-driven solutions to solve various problems in agriculture. And one of the important goals was to eliminate the subjectivity around the quality of food, whether it came off the farm or in a warehouse or factory. To this end, AgNext has pioneered several sensor-based devices that use everything from optical cameras to infrared imaging to sound to capture data that its AI algorithms analyze to determine quality. The company has also worked for years to develop “AI-on-the-edge” technologies so that users don’t have to send data back to a cloud-based program.
One of the first actions of AgNext was to use computer vision to determine the quality of food grains “on the spot”. A simple example is how AgNext’s sensors and AI algorithms combine to differentiate between a natural white layer on a kernel of corn and a white layer of fungus.
The startup has built devices to check the quality based on the chemical composition of products like honey or spices or the fat content of milk. It reduced the time required for quality checks from three days in the lab to 30 seconds on site.
“Today, we are one of the world leaders in the application of spectral sciences to food analysis; we’ve built over 120 algorithms around that, ”Bhamra says. “We started in India and are now ready to go global. ”
The company has consolidated all of its AI technologies to power a data management platform called Qualix, which enables customers to manage their business operations based on quality data and other metrics. “It’s a one-of-a-kind platform that gives you a 360-degree view of your purchases,” adds Bhamra.
At Stellapps Technologies, a company that supplies technology to the dairy supply chain in India, work is underway to commercialize an AI-based facial recognition product for livestock called smartMoo. SmartMoo’s’ mooID ‘leverages Stellapps’ proprietary AI algorithm to compare biometric images of livestock with existing records to uniquely authenticate and identify livestock. smartMoo ID can be integrated with herd management applications to maintain livestock biometric data logs.
It facilitates farmers’ access to livestock insurance by simplifying the claims settlement process through biometric registration and livestock verification. It can ensure traceability in the milk value chain by allowing proof of origin of cattle. It can ensure fair trade when buying or selling livestock through livestock identification authentication and digital transaction log. Its features include self-learning capabilities and it is fully customizable. Stellapps plans to launch smartMoo in six months.
The company has also developed mooON, an animal health monitoring and herd management solution, which assists in the accurate detection of estrus and preventative health care. It also offers personalized nutritional advice.
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