The Punjab government has decided to adopt cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI & ML) technology to ensure the traceability and transparency of its organic produce. In this regard, the Punjab Agri Export Corporation (PAGREXCO), the premier organization of the Punjab Government, has tied up with Bengaluru based agri-tech pioneer CropIn With the adoption of CropIn’s flag-ship solution, SmartFarm, PAGREXO will be able to ensure the authenticity of their products to consumers. As their products are now verifiable and traceable, the farmers will now be able to command a higher price for their produce in the domestic and international markets.
There’s been a global surge in demand for organic produce — and supply is slowly following suit. Across the world, the global production area for organic farming has increased to 172.4 million acres in 2017. In India, Punjab is leading this shift, being one of the most significant exporters of organic produce in the country. In fact, the state is home to 3,000+ organic farmers with over 13,000 acres under organic cultivation.
In July last year, PAGREXO partnered with CropIn to improve traceability of potato seeds, and they have now decided to expand the scope of the partnership to an entire range of organic produce. The implementation of CropIn’s solution on the field will impact over 1,000 organic farmers in the first year and cover products like wheat flour, basmati, turmeric, jaggery, honey and Dalia for certification.
With CropIn’s trademark solution, SmartFarm, PAGREXO is digitizing 1,000+ plots of land. Earlier, all of the data was being collected through field executives using rudimentary data collection methods. Now, the entire process has been digitized, which is an essential starting point for bringing verifiability and transparency across the supply chain.
To improve traceability, CropIn is adding a specially designed QR code on the packets of organic produce which allows PAGREXO to trace the farm and all its details. What’s more, PAGREXO also issues a digital Farmer Card (developed by CropIn) to all organic farmers — which serves as a unique identification of their organic farming status.
But how does this help PAGREXO improve their outcomes? SmartFarm can help them accept or reject a farm plot — based on the quantity of chemicals applied. This means that the approved plots are now verifiably free from chemicals — enabling organic farmers to command a much higher price in the market.
Then there are the insights that result in dramatic improvements in agriculture outcomes. SmartFarm generates QR code on the packet and provides unique, real-time insights about soil conditions, yield predictions, input performance, weather conditions, and so on. Based on these insights, CropIn provides real-time advisories to farmers, helping them improve their yields substantially.
With CropIn’s technology, PAGREXO can easily monitor if there are any yield losses across the supply chain. Given that post-harvesting storage and transportation results in crop losses of at least 30-40%, this becomes key to improving profitability and farmer incomes.
Speaking about the partnership, CropIn Co-founder and COO, Kunal Prasad said, “Food consumption across the world is witnessing a noticeable shift towards organic produce. Being one of the largest exporters of Agri products in the world, Punjab is in a unique position to really capitalize on this shift. We are so grateful that this partnership will allow us to bring greater transparency and traceability into the ecosystem — enabling greater trust for consumers and better incomes for farmers.”