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Agritech System that Monitors Salinity and Fertiliser Content Gains Boost

New Zealand RH Innovation System

An agri-tech start-up company set up by five students from New Zealand’s University of Waikato has been accepted in a start-up programme run by a tech giant.

The student-based start-up, called RH Innovation, was able to develop an inventive way to measure salinity and fertiliser content in soil.


As reported, being accepted in the Microsoft for Startup programme will provide the start-up with more than $30,000 to boost their business.

In addition, they will be given access to the tech giant’s cloud system as well as the sales and marketing team.

The start-up’s CEO and engineering PhD student, Rahat Hasan, explained how being accepted into the programme is a confirmation that their business is on the right track.

The New Zealand RH Innovation system was developed by current and former university students. They are Rahat Hasan, Tyler Crabtree, Bismarck Simeon, Daniel Blair, and Cooper Stephenson.

They have has been working closely with a soil consultant who will be helping them distribute their product to farmers and agribusinesses once the product is ready to go on the market.

About the system

The system informs farmers when to add nitrogen or water to soil, improving farming practices and taking out the guesswork.

Information is effectively gathered by using cost-effective sensors. It is then stored in the database and is readily available to clients through the Cloud.

When it comes to applying either nitrogen or water to soil on the farm, farmers typically base their decisions on what has worked or not worked in the past.

The ability to accurately use data and apply a science-driven approach is important.

A probe measures soil and temperature at two different depths. Used alongside a smartphone app that the team had created, as well as a cloud-based recommendation system, the start-up has formulated a way to tell farmers when to, or when not to, apply either nitrogen or water.

Benefits of RH System

Farmers are able to save on a lot of time, guesswork and money.

Additionally, the software is compatible and works with the GPS-enabled device, which can accurately locate and deliver mapping solutions to farmers in real-time.

On top of that, the system also includes a financial model that can provide recommendations on cost-savings and benefits that affect productivity and profitability.

If the start-up is able to show signs of good progress after a year on the tech giant’s programme, they are eligible for a further US$ 120,000 in Azure credits. This can be used on the tech giant’s public cloud computing platform.

Agritech Across the Globe

Agriculture technology is fast becoming a priority in countries across the world.

Singapore, for instance, is looking into producing sustainable foods in the Agri-Tech space. OpenGov Asia recently reported on Grant calls for R&D in sustainable food production in the country.

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have each launched grant calls: ‘Sustainable Urban Food Production’ and ‘Future Foods: Alternative Proteins’.

These two grants are aimed at encouraging and funding research and development efforts in this area.

India, as reported by OpenGov Asia, will improve yield and sustainability with agritech.

To promote sustainable agriculture and climate-resilient farming systems, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

The MoU will facilitate site-specific transfers of technologies for sustainable agriculture, integrated farming systems, crop intensification, agro-forestry, plantation and horticulture, animal sciences, and agri-engineering.

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