The agricultural sector in India is plagued by a number of issues that include small and fractured landholdings, lack of fertile seeds, irrigation, insufficient mechanisation, and more. Low crop production is mainly caused by the excess use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, which also leads to decline in quality. Constant innovations and newer technologies are needed to address the issue of decrease in quality and quantity of production.
Agriculture, Natural Resource Management: Distinct Horizon, a Delhi-based agritech startup seeks to address food production, while protecting the ever-degrading environment. Founded by Ayush Nigam, an IIT-Madras alumnus along with his friend Santosh Kumar, an electronics engineer from Galgotia College of Engineering and Technolgy, Distinct Horizon has patented DH Vriddhi, a tool that helps farmers place fertilisers deep into the soil, using the Urea Deep Placement (UDP) technique thereby reducing the use of fertilisers by 30-40 percent by, thereby increasing crop productivity. Its use has increased productivity by 25 percent for over 450 plus farmers so far. They realised the need for an applicator, a machine that would place fertilisers deep into the soil and enhance the overall growth of the crops. It’s based on the concept of Urea Deep Placement or Fertilizer Deep Placement (UDP / FDP) that can double farmers’ profits, reduce chemical inputs and have a very significant impact on the environment, all in one go. After working with farmers across six states for four years, the team learnt that in order to convince farmers to shift to a much superior practice, demonstrations must be conducted locally. To develop the overall product, it also worked with IDEO.org for designing and manufacturing the machine, with a factory in Lucknow.