Nano Ganesh is a product which allows farmers to use mobile phones to remotely monitor and switch on irrigation pumps used for watering crops in remote locations. The application was developed by Ossian Agro Automation in Pune, India, and works in conjunction with Tata Teleservices phones. Its development began in 1996 by Santosh Ostwal, an Ossian Agro engineer and son of a farmer. Approximately 5,000 farmers in Maharashtra state have been using Nano Ganesh since 2008. As of mid-2009 it is being tested in Anand district in the Indian state of Gujarat. The device can be attached to any existing electrical starter and motor pump.
In some parts of India, farmers have to walk several kilometres to turn on the irrigation pumps that water their fields. With the electrical supply often erratic, they sometimes find that there is no electricity when they reach the pump. Nano Ganesh allows them to remotely check to see that there is electricity, and to automatically turn the pump on and off, all through a mobile phone. It helps the farmer avoid various difficulties in reaching remote water pumps, such as long travel over difficult terrain, bad weather, and hazardous locations. It also means growers don't have to wake up in the middle of the night, which is often the only time electricity is available, to walk the long distances to their fields. They sometimes hire workers to walk the long distances to turn the pumps on and off.
The application requires a Tata Indicom mobile connection and phone, along with a mobile modem that attaches to the starter on the irrigation pump. Using the phone, an assigned code number switches the pump's starter off and on, and a particular tone signals the off/on status of the pump and the electrical supply at the pump location. Tata Teleservices plans on providing the service throughout India, which has 14.1 million irrigation pumps. The modem is also available with a device, called "Nano Ganesh Hanuman", that alerts the owner of attempts to steal the modem, cable, or the pump itself.
Awards and recognition
The application was a Grand Prize winner in the Emerging Markets category of Nokia's Calling All Innovators contest, which awards new mobile applications designed to improve quality of life. Nano Ganesh was nominee for the Global Mobile Award for the best mobile application in the world in Social-Economic category. Nano Ganesh has been a winner of DST Lockheed-Martin IIGP 2011 programm. Nano Ganesh has been selected for recognition as a laureate in the Economic Development category for 2011, by The Tech Awards,The Tech Museum at San Jose, CA, USA.
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