How phones are turning into plant doctors for thousands of farmers

Until one and a half years ago, Devidas Lonkar from Chakan town of Pune district had to depend on local fertiliser and pesticide sellers to resolve diseases and fungal issues in his crops.

Hailing from an agrarian background, the 26-year-old farmer grows sugarcane, cabbage, cauliflower as well as beetroot and groundnuts across a 7-acre plot.

“I would describe the symptoms of fungus or disease to the shopkeeper, to which he would then suggest various pesticides and add-ons. It took me a while before realising that these shopkeepers only suggested chemicals with short-lived efficiency that would inevitably bring farmers back to them within a couple of months,” he says.

Tired of spending ridiculous amounts of money with no returns, Devidas decided to do some research online and stumbled upon a mobile application named Plantix.