Simply Fresh: The start-up grows a full line of medicinal plants leveraging AI

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Published: June 29, 2020 2:45 AM

Leveraging AI, Simply Fresh grows a full line of medicinal plants and fresh produce at its greenhouses located in Hyderabad

Sachin Darbarwar, founder and CEO, Simply Fresh IndiaSachin Darbarwar, founder and CEO, Simply Fresh India

Farming practices are now moving towards adoption of nextgen technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data analytics. Farmers can expect better productivity by using AI for crop profiling, analysing seeds for better germination, measuring nutrient needs of different plants, among others, for precision farming.

“AI will play an important role in the future of farming. Agriculture will need to adapt for modern technology. With increase in demand for fresh, safe, and traceable produce, it will help growers to understand better by analysing the data,” says Sachin Darbarwar, founder and CEO, Simply Fresh India.

Simply Fresh India, an agritech startup founded by Sachin Darbarwar and Sweta Darbarwar (who is also chief marketing officer of the firm), uses hydroponic technology in farming based on European standards using precision farming techniques. It uses AI technology in farming for growing, nourishing, picking and processing. Darbarwar, who has over 18 years of experience with a strong technical portfolio in developing and innovating share trading platforms, security and antivirus software and agritech-automation, comments: “AI will help in various stages of growth by monitoring appropriate climatic conditions, nutrition requirements of plants, estimate the perfect harvest time of each crop resulting in predicting total yield more accurately and hence meeting the demand.”

Simply Fresh India produces a full line of medicinal plants and fresh produce year-round in Hyderabad. It adhers to industry-leading food safety and quality standards. The farm is digitally controlled by an AI-platform called ‘Farm in A Box’ (FiAB), which determines and detects climate conditions and requirements for the plants and alters the environment to suit their needs.

The startup uses farming technology based on AI, climate engineering and hydroponics. Rain-harvested water is stored in a man-made lake on the farm and its capacity suffices irrigation utility for upto six months. The greenhouses do not use coolants, air-conditioners or chemical-based cooling systems but work with simple evaporative cooling technology that creates an environment that is cooler inside. The elevated roof, completely retractable structures, UV shields, and airways regulate the climate inside.

“All this is made possible owing to the continued practice of intrinsic R&D,’’ explains Darbarwar, who spent three years learning the process in Australia and later developing the technique. “From selecting the best seed by undergoing a Google audit to harvesting using AI-assisted technology and analytics, we believe in producing the best and safe quality food at an affordable range,’’ he says.

To make sure that their customers have confidence in their produce, each package has a QR code. When scanned, this code will showcase the whole history of the product including when the seed was sown, who harvested it, how many days it was in the system and so on. Its good manufacturing practices (GMP) employ trust and transparency in consumers with this unique QR code printed on each product package. Further, the company sources the highest quality non-GMO seeds from across the globe.

In 2018, Simply Fresh raised about $30 million through private equity investors and expanded its farming with a 150-acre facility in Arjunpatla, Siddipet. Based on European standards using precision farming techniques, the farm uses AI technology in farming for growing, nourishing, picking and processing.

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