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Sprouts for Sustainability (S4S)

Sprouts for Sustainability (S4S)

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The Idea

The primary customer we focus on our venture are the farmers in Australia. As per National Farmer's Federation, there are about 300,000 farmers in Australia. Due to ill-estimated amount of fertilizers used, the soil sometimes may gain more nutrient content than it can contain. The residue will be washed off may end up in grazing-fields or nearby water-bodies, which may affect the existing ecosystem hence, the health of the creatures living there. There also, exist a possibility of the excess fertilizers may make the soil unfavorable for the crops growing in the zone.

With our product, we will provide a quantitative data about the current soil composition for the farmer to determine the required amount of fertilizers to be sprayed. When having the knowledge of how much fertilizers are to be sprayed, the farmers can buy only the required fertilizers instead on buying all under assumptions. This will also help them to use these fertilizers more responsibly there by saving on the production cost and also on the fertility of the soil. Thus allowing the farmers to have better yield.

The Market

The primary customer we focus on our venture are the farmers in Australia. As per National Farmer's Federation, there are about 300,000 farmers in Australia. Due to ill-estimated amount of fertilizers used, the soil sometimes may gain more nutrient content than it can contain. The residue will be washed off may end up in grazing-fields or nearby water-bodies, which may affect the existing ecosystem hence, the health of the creatures living there. There also, exist a possibility of the excess fertilizers may make the soil unfavorable for the crops growing in the zone.

With our product, we will provide a quantitative data about the current soil composition for the farmer to determine the required amount of fertilizers to be sprayed. When having the knowledge of how much fertilizers are to be sprayed, the farmers can buy only the required fertilizers instead on buying all under assumptions. This will ultimately reduce the production cost for the farmers.

The Competition

There exists a company named "EDYN", who have prototyped a similar concept for urban gardening. They had started with kickstarter funding and had initial sales, but had a setback due to micro-climate conditions which gets created in different plant bases. Hence, they needed more sensors to be placed for the system to effectively work.

Our product is aimed for large-scale crop farming. We also give suggestions for crop rotations by analyzing the soil nutrient levels as well as safe amount of fertilizers which can be sprayed to avoid damaging the ecosystem due to over-use.

The Vision

Our company will be the leader in the agricultural technology industry and provide state-of-the-art equipment which will promote sustainable farming in the developing countries. The company will reach 30% of the farmers in the developing countries within 2 years from day one of sales. The equipment will also reach agro-forestry, forestry and construction sector. 

Mentor Pitch

Due to excessive use of fertilizers by farmers in developing countries, the chemical content in the soil might become unsuitable for irrigation. This would result in the contamination of soil and water around the locality which could result in various health issues. To overcome this problem, we are developing a device that could help in assessing the soil conditions which could help the farmers to make informed decisions on the amount of fertilizers that would be needed for irrigations.

The Customer Experience

The customers would get introduced to the product via pamphlets, local radio & video ads. One of the initial stage of getting to customers would be via farmer association meetings. We would provide a live demo of the product during the meeting and also hands on workshop with a few giveaways. This might be an initial marketing strategy to get farmers to start using the product.

Once sold, we would provide maintenance support via app or phone as to what technology is convenient to the farmers of the region. 

The Team

We believe that the team is most suited for this venture because there is a good mix of people from different backgrounds. The team members are backed with credible and quality experiences in areas like engineering, technology, environmental sciences and management which we believe would be essential for the development and marketing of the product.

We are making efforts to purchase parts required for making the prototype. But due to very high demand of these hardware parts they are not readily available in the Canberra markets. So we are thinking of purchasing them in the online market.

Key Resources

We need

  1. a software programmer
  2. procurement of resources which would be needed for the sensors and the product
  3. a person with a financial background who could help in costing and budgeting 
  4. a manufacturer who could be helpful in the developmental of the completed prototype. 

So these are the basic requirements that our team would be required for this venture. If any collaborators who are willing to fund our project, please contact any of the below

  1.  sgautham32@gmail.com
  2. javedashraf95@gmail.com

Funding Sought

Costs:

Initial Prototyping Hardware = $120(Processor + wires + test board) + sensor

Manufacturing Costs = $ 10,000 (Approx)


Sources of purchase:

1. Alibaba (during Manufacturing for bulk orders) & Amazon (during Prototyping stages) for hardware.

Our Partners

1. Dr. Dinesh Kumar Sharma 

From : Center for Environment Science and Climate Resilient Agriculture (CESCRA), India

He provides us with information about the agricultural information which are needed by the crops & also helped us connect with insights on related works which are currently user use by farmers.

He has been helping us as a well wisher & a person who is eager to help the agricultural sector in India with our product.

2. Dept. of Agriculture of all the target counties (After a prototype is realized)

We need their help to promote our product & also give tax exemptions for our product sales as we believe this would help improve the agricultural production on the country to ensure they are self-sustaining in terms of food.

3. Farming products retailers. (Future)

They would be the middle-men at developing countries where online shopping is not very popular for ensuring the product is easily accessible to the farmers. In return, they get a new product for sales improving their revenue streams.

Our Revenue Streams

We are providing farmers, researchers & environmental organisations a portable device with which they can obtain information about the components present in the soil such ask the pH, salinity, macro-nutrients which affect the plants that grow in the region.

The device would have an initial sales cost, followed with an annual maintenance & calibration costs.

As per our feedback, an average of $150 is within a reasonable cost in India. However, we aim to reduce it around $100 optimistically to compete with our competitors.