Swiss company SatSure plans to create a platform for monitoring all cultivation area in Oryol Oblast in real-time mode. The developer hopes that in the coming years other Russian regions, willing to monitor their crops, will become company's clients. Co-founder and CEO SatSure Prateep Basu in conversation with AGRO.RU has expressed confidence that company's technologies will help Russian farmers get higher profits and improve the production capacity.
Prateep, could you, please, tell us about your plans of creating a panel (platform) for crops monitoring in Oryol Oblast. When will the work be completed? Are you going to involve Russian specialists in the process of development? How will the panel perform?
The platform's first version will be completed by 3rd week of October, covering two crops in the region of Oryol Oblast - wheat and potato. Post the completion, SatSure plans to validate the findings and analysis with the help of local Russian agronomists to perfect its predictive models derived on time-series satellite imagery and weather datasets. The platform will provide map based and statistical insights on the entire crop lifecycle parameters, like area under the crops, spatial variation in their health and moisture content, sowing and harvest windows, and the eventual production.
Who will have access to the data?
Currently, only publicly available satellite images will be used for the pilot project for demonstrating the capabilities of the platform and designing the value proposition for the Orel government. Moving forward, SatSure would be looking to also buy and use Russian earth observation satellites and drone services for adding more insights to its platform, for which the datasets will be available through local data centres.
Will there be a need for farmers to buy any devices or install apps in order to use monitoring data?
No devices required for farmers, only a mobile application (available for both Android and iOS users) can be used to access advisories and other farm management datasets.
For how long are you going to analyze crops in the Oryol Oblast?
The present pilot is designed for the current season, for which SatSure shall be analyzing the historical last 3-year data as well to derive insights on changing cropping and climatic patterns in the region.
Are you going to offer such panels for other regions? And if so, which one will be the first one?
Yes, we would definitely look to expand our platform services to other regions as well, and regions which have high agricultural activity such as Krasnodar Krai, Rostov Oblast, Stavropol Krai would be of interest to us for collaboration with local farmer groups and government to offer our services on agricultural monitoring.
Have you considered creating a panel in Switzerland or other countries? Why have you chosen Russia?
We have created a platform for entire India, since the promoters of SatSure are mostly Indians and saw the social and financial impact of technology on a sector like agriculture, which has traditionally not been an early adopter of technology. The interest to work is Russia stems from the founder experience in the Indian space agency, one of the major hallmarks of Indo-Russian friendship and collaboration through multiple hardships. As Russia is the largest global exporter of wheat, we see huge potential for our technology in the country for assisting in improving the production capacity of other agricultural commodities as well and helping Russian farmers get higher profits.
In your opinion, at what stage of exploring AI’s capabilities for agricultural production is Russia now? Could you, please, tell how ambitious and inventive Russian developers of advanced technologies and devices are? What else do they need to learn from and can teach their foreign colleagues?
AI development in Russia is at the initial stage of implementation. The government support initiatives for digitalzing the agricultural sector but being the most conservative sector we see many challenges in transformation of business models. Russian developers and technologies are recognised as one of the best in the World and we hope to increase our collaboration for adaptation our platform for Russian & CIS markets.