Blending space-based techniques with market research tools, the Hyderabad-based AgriNet Solutions headed by Dr S Thiruvengadachari has come up with expertise, which can help agriculture input companies as well as consumer goods manufacturers identify and target potential geographical locations and specific products to market. The company derives data from the Indian remote sensing satellites (IRS), GPS and has developed a suite of GIS tools, which it deploys depending on the user needs. In fact, in a consultancy effort with EID Parry Ltd, one of the leading agri input company; AgriNet has customized a package, which was being used to improve marketing of fertilizer products in three Southern states. The company uses space data to help companies strengthen their distribution networks, plan targeted promotion to increase sales, monitor seasonal conditions to shift market focus and better inventory management, he said. Tie-ups with market research organizations for appropriate value additions where required has been done. For example AgriNet can quickly assess the sowing operations of say wheat crop, identify specific areas, where there is a delay using satellite data. This information can help Agri input companies to target their herbicide supplies appropriately and reach them saving both time and costs. The company had also done a consultancy project for Monsanto Research Centre, Bangalore for a detailed mapping of cotton and other crops in 10 blocks in Maharastra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu during the crop year 2001.
Another project done by it was an estimation of the basmati growing areas for the Agricultural Products Export Development Agency (APEDA). District wise mapping of the scented rice grown in Punjab, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal was done using IRS data and the GIS tools. Backed by funding from ICICI Ventures and UPL, AgriNet Solutions has set up an earth station to receive data from the NOAA satellite with an investment of Rs 30 lakh. It sources IRS data from the National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) and has developed a series of packages for agriculture companies. It has developed expertise to convert the high-resolution satellite imagery which helps in the mapping of rural, urban market characteristics and develop specialist products that give agricultural solutions.
Source: M. Somasekhar