AgNext Technologies, a Punjab-based agritech startup, has installed a unique quality assessment system called “Qualix” which will quickly test curcumin in turmeric at the Agricultural Market Committee in Nizamabad (Telangana).
Qualix will quickly calculate the curcumin content of turmeric in 60 seconds, compared to the 2-3 day testing process by laboratories. Our platform will help farmers get incentivised quickly for their quality produce, said Taranjeet Singh Bhamra (Founder and CEO at AgNext Technologies).
Farmers want to know how much extra money they can make and even if they see a 10-20% increase in their prices, that will have a huge impact on their bottom line, Bhamra stated. He also said that farmers don’t get paid based on the quality or quantity of their produce.
In launching the Qualix platform, AgNext Technologies and the Spices Board have partnered with ITC Ltd in Kolkata.
The founder of AgNext said, “Our system not just helps to determine the quality turmeric, but also saves you time and resources. This is a benefit for all stakeholders — growers traders exports and others — in food value chain.”
For its quick turnaround time in testing, the platform has received rave reviews from traders, farmers and the Spices Board. This platform has been used by approximately 250-270 traders and 2,000 farmers. Bhamra stated that all of them were happy with the results.
AI, spectra tech
Qualix is built on artificial intelligence and digital tech. It uses spectra technology that makes use of light reflection to quickly scan the turmeric for details.
The AgNext founder stated that farmers are charged per test and it costs them Rs142, compared to Rs400-500 earlier for the test which took days.
Bhamra stated that the Qualix platform was not easy to develop or launched in a timely manner. “We tried our platform in multiple locations and were only able to master it after 2 1/2 years. He said that hundreds of samples were tested to improve the product.
Qualix’s MRI-like scanner is 98% accurate, compared to the labs’ 95% accuracy. The founder of AgNext said that during peak season it could benefit at least 3000 farmers per month at Nizamabad AMC.
Expansion of reach
The startup firm from Punjab has expanded the platform to 15 additional AMCs in the district after its success at Nizamabad. Bhamra stated that there is a demand from Mizoram, Nagaland, and Nanded (Maharashtra) for our solutions.
AgNext Technologies will expand the platform to Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and other areas where turmeric is grown in large quantities. AgNext Technologies will soon have similar solutions for ginger, chilli, pepper and coriander, as the Spices Board has been convinced by Qualix.
AgNext Technologies has a lot of exposure in the milk and foodgrain industries. It can help to create a quality map for such produce using its platform. This will allow farmers and traders to learn about the quality of the produce as well as the various farming practices used in the region.