Low Cost and Field usable Water and Soil Testing Kits by Foundation for Environmental Monitoring (FFEM), Bangalore.
Founder: Mr. Samuel Rajkumar
WIN is supporting this start-up for product market validation through its Community Partners: (1) Arid Communities and Technologies, Trial location: Mandvi Taluka, Kutch Dist and (2) Samerth Charitable Trust, Trial location : Rapar Taluka, Kutch Dist
Product: Soil tests enable estimation of the concentration of nutrients as well as contaminants, in order to determine fertilizer recommendations or any other corrective steps for soil, for specific crops, in a much more precise and dynamic manner for smart agriculture practice.
Water quality testing is critical for determining suitability for various uses, including drinking, cooking, cattle, agriculture etc. These kits are usable by farmers and field workers, and provide instant results to enable timely corrective action.
- It informs the farmer of the current health of the farm’s soil and how to improve it: Soil fertility is determined by the soil’s biological, chemical, and physical properties. A Soil tests are used to determine the soil’s nutrient level and pH content. Armed with this information, farmers can define the quantity of fertiliser and exact type that is needed for application to improve the soil on your farm. This is essential because fertile soils are necessary to grow healthy crops.
- Soil test leads to minimisation of fertiliser expenditure: Knowing the exact deficiency that your soil is experiencing will result in more timely and precise application of fertilisers or other inputs for crops and thus prevent unnecessary wastage of such inputs. Moreover, nutrients such as potassium and phosphorus, that are part of inorganic fertilisers, are very limited resources, with need to prevent their wastage, and thus reduce chance of possible shortages. Over use of fertilisers also result in water pollution, nutrient leaching, and irreversible harm to the aquatic life, apart from harm to crops.
- Farmers can easily avoid soil degradation: It is estimated from research that each year more than 24 billion tonnes of fertile soil are lost because of erosion which is caused by unbalanced soil management. Furthermore, land degradation directly affects the livelihoods and health of an estimated 1.5 billion people. Soil restoration is a costly, difficult, and time-consuming process. Therefore, better soil management through soil testing is an easier route to take.
- Farmers with fertile soils can contribute to feeding the world’s growing population: The current generation puts more pressure on the soil than ever before. There is need of fertile soils to produce yields that will feed the world’s ever-growing population. Improved soil health implies more crops, potentially closing the world’s food security issues. This will eventually bring a better life to millions of people. Soil testing is the first step in soil management. The activity gives farmers valuable information that helps them improve the soil’s health.
About ffem :
ffem, or Foundation for Environmental Monitoring, is a Bengaluru-based non-profit with focus on innovative, accessible solutions in the area of environmental testing. ‘Accessible solutions’ translates as appropriately priced and open source. Their current products are portable, app-based water and soil testing kits. Clean water is a scarce resource, globally. They believe their testing kits could encourage awareness and informed decision-making for sustainable/ responsible water use and soil health. ffem looks for partnerships that need scientific and environmentally-aware decision-making in the areas of health and livelihoods. They encourage partners to post test results as open data, so as to better inform research and policy in soil and water quality management.
For more details, visit ffem website
Note by Community Partner-Arid communities Technologies : ACT-Note-May2020
General Note by community Partner – Samerth Charitable Trust : Samerth-General Note