Computer engineering students from the Vivekanand Education Society’s Institute of Technology (VESIT) have developed an app named ‘Agronomists’ which will educate farmers on growing medicinal and aroma crops.The app has also won the a winner’s prize money of Rs 1 lakh in the Smart India Hackathon 2018 held at the NCL (National Chemical Laboratory) in Pune.The team of enthusiastic students came up with the idea as they were looking for a solution to unite the farmers, entrepreneurs, industrialists and scientists to fuel the growth of medicinal and aroma industry. The multilingual app has an English language interface and the integration of Marathi and Hindi interfaces are underway.Sanket Paratkar, leader of the team of developers said, “A farmer knows how to grow normal crops like wheat, jowar, bajri, cotton or even sugar cane etc. But most of them don’t know how to grow medicinal or aromatic plants. Planting cash crops have led to farmers losing money which has led to bankruptcy. India has also seen a rise in farmer suicides. Hence, I feel that medicinal and aromatic plants can be a solution. There are a lot of demands of these crops from pharmaceutical companies and medicine companies. Hence we decided to make this app.”Answers to questions on the suitable climate, the type of agricultural land, the market where the crops can be sold will be made available to the farmers with the help of scientists and experts from the government.The app will also have a chatroom segment where the buyers and sellers will be able to communicate with each other.Prof. Manisha Gahirwal, mentor of the team, said, “The best part is that we are providing the market trends of the last five years.”

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Engineering students develop app for farmers