Student of Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Ekdeep Singh Lubana won the award for developing a prototype of SNAP – A RAW images’ based setup that can calculate nutrient concentration in leaves. He carried his project work under guidance of Prof. Dr. Maryam Shojaei Baghini.
Since long, efforts have been made for determining the concentration of nutrients in soil, which, thereafter, help in the calculation of required fertilizer content. However, the conventional methods incorporating chemical methodologies for soil testing have humongous limitations – finite number of samples can be tested in a given period of time (around 1000 samples per month); the amount of time required for the analysis can render the analysis obsolete; and, many-a-times, the analysis never reaches the farmer. All these issues put a stigma in a farmer’s mind, because of which he refrains from getting a soil analysis and uses a heuristic approach of 50kgs of fertilizer per hectare.
Such a methodology leads to acidification of soil, hampering the possible yield for the farmer. Due to over-fertilization, India faces an average ratio of 24:1 for N:P, whilst the ideal ratio is 4:1. Hence, our team has come up with SNAP, a handheld, patented device based on the principles of “Multispectral-Imaging” to capture images of a leaf at specific wavelengths, which have been optimally scrutinized and calculated for the specific purpose of determination of nitrogen concentration in a leaf. In a controlled environment (a minimal reflection apparatus with precisely-located illumination sources for constant geometry), modified GIS-based spectral parameters are correlated with leaf-nutrient content. We have expanded to further magnesium and potassium, and are currently concentrating on expansion to 6 more vital nutrients. SNAP helps tackle the aforementioned delay in the chemical analysis solution – all the while maintaining high levels of accuracy – by delivering a cost-effective, affordable technology that the farmer can use himself – hence making the farmer self-reliant.
The Hon’ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind awarded the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (BIRAC – GYTI) Award to Ekdeep Singh Lubana, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay at the GYTI 2018 Awards function held at Rashtrapati Bhawan on March 19, 2018.