Contributing towards sustainable food production for billions with OMRON IoT based environment sensors

The Indian agriculture sector employing more than 50% of the total workforce contributes about 17% of the country's total GDP. With a population size that is already over 1.3 billion, producing sufficient food for citizens itself is a big issue and demand is set to grow even more in the coming years. Factors like climatic conditions, soil pollution, low yield, reducing cultivable land etc. keep on adding to a famer's misery. With a strong commitment to solve social issues, OMRON acknowledges the importance of securing the future of farming and finding a sustainable way to feed billions over a long period of time and the same passion is shared by our employees.

Passion becomes obsession

Pankaj Garhwal, a Senior Sales Engineer at OMRON Device & Module Solutions Company in India has always been passionate about contributing towards the agriculture sector. When he joined OMRON and learnt about company's mission, values and the technology prowess, his desire to solve the issues faced by the farmers strengthened even more. He started looking out for the right projects and partners who shared OMRON's vision. The road ahead was tough considering less business scope and low technology affordability among the Indian farmers. However, after incessant efforts, an opportunity finally arrived.

Finding a key piece of the puzzle

Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) * has gained much prominence in the recent times and involves producing crops and vegetables in an environment such as Indoor Farming, Vertical Farming, Greenhouse Farming where different parameters can be controlled to maximize the efficiency and productivity while nurturing safe and healthy produce. Gloverse Labs, an agri-tech start-up in India invited OMRON to work on Smart Growing System (SGS), a comprehensive solution envisioned to help agriculture research institutes design their own high tech grow room (phytotron) which can be controlled on the go from a smartphone. After thoroughly understanding the solution specifications, the OMRON team proposed to integrate OMRON Environment Sensors capable of sensing key parameters like temperature, humidity, light thereby facilitating ideal conditions for the crops to grow.

* Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is the term which encompasses a variety of systems that take a technology-based approach to farming

578_2.jpgControlled Environment Agriculture Room

Securing partner's vote of approval

Mr. Gaurav Kanthaliya, Co-Founder, Gloverse Labs believes that OMRON Environment Sensor has brought the best out of the solution with its real-time data analytics which enables users to make informed decisions and complete the value chain of agriculture transformation. He also added that "by using this sensor we are developing a system to communicate with plants and through this system we can tell them exactly what we would like them to do, for example: Hey, I want my tomatoes to be X colour with Y texture, Z size, P type of test, and Q amount of yield on Rth day. This system is going to transform the way we grow food and the entire agriculture industry."

578_3.jpgOMRON Environment Sensor inside Controlled Environment Agriculture Room

Results make the difference

OMRON Environment Sensors with their accurate and seamless sensing capabilities are enabling the Smart Growing System to deliver new milestones in food production with benefits like:

  • Up to 10X yield
  • 80% less resource usage such as water and fertilizer
  • Zero pesticide usage

The technology is already being used by research institutes in India and abroad to grow climate resilient seeds and medical plants and as the number of adopters increase, we are sure to realize many more benefits.

OMRON will continue to empower self-driven employees who aim to take the organization's contribution towards society to the next level. We strongly believe that the best way to solve a social issue is to preempt and assume a leading role in the value chain and collaborate with the right partners to build a safe and sustainable society with our expertise.