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IIT-Madras to develop sensors for farmers

According to reports, with an aim to help farmers get more yield with use of less water, scientists at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) are working to develop sensors and mobile applications to control those sensors.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle about use of solar energy in agriculture, Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director, IIT-Madras, said one could use solar energy for agriculture but the way it had been put to use in India would yield no big result.

“When electricity is there we pump water, we don’t pump water when the plant needs it but we do it. The horse power of your electric motor does not matter but how you use it matters,” he

Pointing out that several faculty members from civil engineering and centre for photovoltaic system had embarked on research to develop sensors to help farmer irrigate their field with the use of smart phones, Prof Ramamurthi said the  faculty would work with agriculturists to understand their needs and come up with technologies to help them.

“We can put electronic controls to know the requirement of plants, how do you control all these, smart phones can do this. We would revisit technologies that are available in the country”, Prof. Ramamurthi added.

Reiterating IIT-M’s commitment for research, Prof. Ramamurthi, who had worked on solar technology for over two decades, noted that faculty from environmental engineering group in civil engineering with agriculture background work with a few others in centre for photovoltaic system to develop sensors.

“So we need to bring these technologies together, for which we need fresh thinking”, he noted.

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