Farmers can now check the quality of wheat and other agri-commodities with just a click through a mobile app, AgriReach, launched by agri-logistics firm Sohan Lal Commodity Management recently. The mobile quality check app allows the user to get on the spot assessment of the commodity’s sample for free within minutes without depending on a third party. Sandeep Sabharwal, CEO, SLCM, speaks more about this app and its likely impact on agri-warehousing and on the commodities market, in a conversation with Ramesh Kumar Raja. Excerpts:
How does AgriReach Mobile Quality Check App work?
Getting a quality check done through the AgriReach Mobile Quality Check App is as easy as taking an image. As it is currently being offered for wheat, just clicking the photograph of the commodity’s sample and submitting it through the app gets it analysed for multiple quality parameters. The user obtains a quality report with the photographic evidence evaluated for specifications like damaged, shrunken, shrivelled or immature grains, foreign matter and a host of other physical parameters like height, length, grid, colour and pattern of the commodity.
What led you to develop such an app? What is the rationale behind choosing the mobile platform?
The path-breaking app enables a 360-degree evaluation by a cross-section of stakeholders including processors, traders, exporters, importers, government agencies and financial institutions such as banks. The on-ground utilisation is expected to tremendously help to improve the fidelity quality checks for agricultural commodities and disseminate the instantly obtained QC results in a secure and transparent environment to drastically reduce the turnaround time and costs in comparison to the task being performed manually.
According to the figures made available by the research firm App Annie, in the second quarter of 2021-22, the average smartphone user in the country spent nearly 5 hours daily trying out various apps. However, long before these figures were announced, in 2018 itself we had proactively realised the potential for an app to provide an on-the-spot assessment of agricultural commodities. Its launch is, therefore, also part of our commitment to provide our customer base with agritech solutions embedded in the software as a service (SaaS) model.
Is the app available on both Android and iOS? What is the cost of development and how do you plan to monetise it?
The AgriReach Mobile Quality Check App can currently be downloaded from the Google Play Store on handheld devices like mobile phones and tablet PCs running on the Android OS. It will be progressively offered for iOS devices as well. Our commitment for the FY 22-23 for SaaS applications is about Rs 13 crores, whereas to date Rs 3 crores have been allocated to the QC portion of it. Presently, the beta version of the app is being offered for free downloads and user feedback.
|“Our commitment for the FY 22-23 for SaaS applications is about Rs 13 crores, whereas to date Rs 3 crores have been allocated to the QC portion of it. Presently, the beta version of the app is being offered for free downloads and user feedback”|
What is the technology behind this app, how accurate is the outcome and is it scalable?
The results are automatically compared with pre-fed data in the back-end system, which is regularly updated using a combination of AI and ML with Python programming language, on a real-time basis. We are looking at achieving up to 90% accuracy in the 6 months from the time of its official launch in October 2021. The process for the app’s ISO certification and certification by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) is also underway.
What is the likely impact of this mobile app on agri warehousing and on the commodities market?
The app’s capabilities will be progressively extended to include other important food grains and pulses like chana (chickpea), maize, rice, guar (cluster bean), moong and tur (pigeon pea). A global first for food grains, the app allows the user to get an on the spot assessment of the commodity’s sample within minutes, without having to use equipment like a sieve, weighing scale, etc., or to take it to a lab for testing. At a time when the Central Government has targeted to double the farm income, the app’s rollout is expected to give impetus to a large-scale behavioural and institutional change and influence the adoption of digital technology throughout the Indian farming ecosystem.