MFOI 2024 Road Show

Interviews

In Conversation With Founder & CEO of WRMS

Anuj Kumbhat, Founder & CEO of WRMS
Anuj Kumbhat, Founder & CEO of WRMS

How drone-assisted technology is shaping the modern-day agricultural ecosystem?

The successful convergence of agricultural values and technological innovations is paving the way for a greener, more productive, and more sustainable future. Various new-age technologies are playing a vital role in revolutionizing the agriculture space, and one such technological invention is drone technology. Drone technology is highly versatile, and the global demand for quality food supplies can benefit from it. Drones not only hold the potential to improve overall performance, but they also help farmers overcome a variety of agrarian challenges and get several benefits from precision agriculture.

The following are some of the ways that drone technology is swiftly re-establishing traditional agrarian practices:

  1. Drone data collection for precision agriculture: From scouting to security, the use of drones on large and small-scale farms have become more common in recent years. The data gathered by drones on farms are often used for agronomic decisions. In many areas, drone use has already become an essential part of large-scale precision farming. The data collected from drones help farmers plan their planting and treatments to achieve the best possible yields.

  2.   Crop Monitoring and Imaging - The biggest challenge in farming is the size of the fields and the inefficiency of crop monitoring. Increasingly unpredictable weather conditions worsen monitoring issues, increasing risk and field maintenance costs. Drones can highlight inefficiencies in production, allowing for better crop management.

  1.   Aerial Spraying for Crops – Drones scan the ground and spray the appropriate amount of liquid. By regulating their distance from the ground in real-time, drones ensure even coverage in spraying crops. UAVs also improve efficiency by lowering the number of chemicals that leak into groundwater.

  2.   Tracking Livestock - Farmers can also use drones to keep track of their cattle’s movements. Thermal sensor technology aids in the recovery of missing animals and the detection of injury or illness. Drones are capable of performing this duty well, and this contributes significantly to the development of vegetation.

  3.  Monitoring of irrigation - Drones equipped with multispectral or thermal sensors can precisely detect areas of a field that are dry or need improvement. Agricultural drones can also calculate the vegetation index and reveal heat signatures. During seed planting, heat signatures help determine which areas need more hydration. 

How WRMS is handholding farmers using technology? Please throw light on SecuFarm, how does it work, the idea behind its invention and how are you marketing the product?

With SecuFarm (smart and sustainable farming solution), WRMS is promoting the use of technology among smallholder farmers to protect their income. For smallholder farmers, SecuFarm combines the most cutting-edge farm-level crop advisory supported by technology to ensure farm-level higher yield guarantee.

Due to the multiple obstacles that smallholder farmers face as a result of unpredictable weather patterns and crop diseases, WRMS is making sure that all of their risks are covered and mitigated on the farm. To ensure that they are closely connected with the most advanced farming services, the company geotags their farms and offers them farm-level crop solutions through the vernacular SecuFarm app. Additionally, they get immediate weather information to plan irrigation and crop protection based on crop conditions and soil nutrients. This enables them to be mindful usage of water and agri chemicals, thus protecting the environment.

To maintain the soil nutrients and ensure high-quality final output, farmers also regularly receive customized solutions on the mobile app for the best use of agrochemicals. The program also links farmers with Agri experts who respond to all of their inquiries about crops and give them prompt answers within 24 hours. Through audio-visual content that is accessible to farmers with poor literacy levels, the app instructs farmers on a variety of crop diseases. Farmers who use SecuFarm solutions receive a high benchmark crop production that is also of excellent quality, improving market demand for their crops. And in case their yield is below the assured yield, they get timely compensation. Thus, the farmer is never at risk with SecuFarm. 

What is the one thing that sets you apart from your competitors?

WRMS is not just a smart farming firm but is more than that. WRMS is the only company that offers farmers 100% income stability, advisory at the farm level, granular information, and farm-level loss assessment. We also provide SecuFarm, the world's first Smart & Sustainable Farming solution that guarantees farmers' livelihood stability.

Having a decade of experience in the sector, WRMS has worked extensively with leading names like Pepsico, GIZ, WWF, Tata Trusts, Bayer, etc. along with government and govt-run bodies like NCFC, APSDPS, KSNDMC, and Bihar Government. With 2.5+ million farmers served, 1 million acres of land geo-tagged and 10,000+ IoT devices installed, WRMS is a stalwart in the agriculture and dairy risk management industry.

WRMS is a pioneer of many firsts, such as bundling the world's first parametric insurance with an agri-input value chain. It started CARM services in India; introduced bundled solutions of Index Insurance (BICSA), India and Bangladesh; satellite-based flood index insurance product, UP; Index insurance for securing credit to chili farmers, Andhra Pradesh; Parametric insurance-based disaster risk financing solution, Fiji; and many others. Not only this, WRMS provides integrated risk management and regulatory services that help financial institutions, insurers, and corporates understand, quantify, and manage their risk associated with weather – earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and other weather events – and crop yields.

WRMS is the home of many firsts such as indigenous manufacturers of drones. How are they pioneering in this category?

Drone technology has left a long-lasting impact on the agriculture industry of India and its efficiency.  Ingen, a wholly-owned subsidiary of WRMS, is the indigenous manufacturer of high-tech agriculture surveying drones equipped with advanced sensors that help farmers attain accurate farm analysis, improved crop yields, precise usage of agrochemicals, and more.

WRMS drones are equipped with sensors & digital imaging capabilities to monitor crop growth remotely. These drones provide a bird’s-eye view of the farms, thus revealing issues related to irrigation, soil, and pest & fungal infestations. This is achieved using multispectral images that show near-infrared as well as visual spectral views for comparison.

Ingen technologies, is also a leading IoT manufacturer of automatic weather stations, automatic irrigation systems, pest traps, survey drones, and soil moisture sensors. The company recently collaborated with Regional Meteorological Centre, Guwahati, Assam, India, the Meteorological Department (IMD), and the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of India, and bagged the contract for procurement, installation, and maintenance of Automatic Rain Gauge Stations in the North East States of India. The company is working with many government organizations like Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre, Andhra Pradesh State Development Planning Society, and more. 

What are your key targets for say next 12-15 months?  

For the next 12–15 months, we will continue to focus on technology implementation and risk management advisory services. Along with this, we will work towards enhancing the quality of our offering, which includes multidisciplinary capabilities spanning data analytics, technology, and finance, to address and resolve complex agrarian challenges. We are also seeking partnerships with like-minded organizations working with smallholder farmers and FPOs so that we can reach the deepest pockets of the country where a farmer is sowing a seed in the hope of a good yield.

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