IoT for Diagnosing Plants Health | AgTech Startup Ideas

The 1001 Startup Ideas – IoT for Diagnosing Plants Health is to integrate the power of Artificial intelligence with the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve the farming techniques and diagnostics.

Market Definition for The 1001 Startup Ideas – IoT for Diagnosing Plants Health

According to the World Bank, if the global population continues to rise at its current pace, we will need to produce 50% more food by 2050. But according to International Labour Organisation (ILO) agricultural laborers as a percentage of the total workforce declined from 81% to 48.2% in developing countries, and from 35% to 4.2% in the developed ones because of its aging population. According to an another projection, the effects of climate change can see crop yields falling by more than a quarter. The Agriculture industry will have to move towards Automation and use of AI extensively to produce more food sustainably.


Competitor Analysis  for The 1001 Startup Ideas – IoT for Diagnosing Plants Health

Below is an analysis of few startups and companies leveraging the power of AI and deep learning to improve the farming techniques further.

A startup called AgriData incubated in Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology (California) is developing a way for machines to manage the productivity of fields. Its gadget rapidly scans trees to pinpoint fruits and determine their yield. Thus farmers can get a better sense of how their fields are producing to better time their harvests.

According to a study by Biologist David Hughes and epidemiologist, Marcel Salathé on 14 crops infected by 26 diseases. They fed more than 50,000 images to a program, and by learning on its own, the program did correctly diagnose 99.35 percent of the new images they throw at it. But to improve the accuracy of learning Hughes and Salathé hope to see this AI power their app, PlantVillage, which currently allows farmers around the world to upload a photo of their ailing plants to a forum for experts to diagnose. To smarten up the AI, they’ll continue feeding it photos of diseased plants. “More and more images from various sources, regarding how the pictures are taken, time of year, location, and so on,” says Salathé. “And the algorithm can just pick up on that and learn.”


Pain Point and Target Audience for The 1001 Startup Ideas – IoT for Diagnosing Plants Health

Most of the farmers around the world face problems in making critical decisions about their plant health and its growth because there is no readily available historical data on the growth cycle, indicators of stressors on plant health, use of water, time of harvesting, etc. Misdiagnoses can lead to farmers wasting money and time on pesticides or herbicides.


Value Proposition for The 1001 Startup Ideas – IoT for Diagnosing Plants Health

The start-up will have to create an Internet of Living Things. Advanced sensors embedded in drones and plants, along with machine-learning systems, genome identification devices, and data dashboard to give rise to a new generation farming with less environmental footprint and better yield. As the system improves with self-learning, it will help farmers quickly and accurately pinpoint the problems and intervene at the right time to resolve the issue.

The startup will have to focus on drones with a multitude of sensors like Infrared imaging sensors, high-speed imaging technologies to detect diseases and other stressors in plants. For example, chlorophyll, the molecule that gives leaves their green hue, draws in visible light, while reflecting a significant amount of infrared light. When a plant is unhealthy, it will reflect more of the visible light hitting it, and reflect fewer infrared waves. Infrared imaging can show farmers if their plants are indicating abnormal amounts of light, tipping them off to problems in photosynthesis to take corrective action. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization considers such technologies a “useful tool” for crop management, but the expert’s word is doctrine.


Business Model for The 1001 Startup Ideas – IoT for Diagnosing Plants Health

The Startup will work on the SaaS-based subscription model. The farmers can install the application on their smartphones or use the website and upload images of their plants to check their health. The Farmers can also rent drones which can map the entire farm with high-resolution pictures of the farm on the server, and the application can diagnose the condition of the plant based on the data available on its server and suggest preventive measures, thus saving losses on the pesticides and other consumables due to the wrong diagnosis.


Way to market for The 1001 Startup Ideas – IoT for Diagnosing Plants Health

The startup should start with their focus on large cluster farms like coffee/tea plantations, wineries in the first six months which can generate a significant amount of data for deep learning. Once the significant amount of data is fed, and the application is good enough to diagnose most of the frequent problems with plants, the startup should launch the solution for the wider audience.


Milestones for The 1001 Startup Ideas – IoT for Diagnosing Plants Health

The first milestone would be to onboard at least two major plantations to collect data through one crop cycle and study the patterns of weather, wind, light, water affecting the various stages of growth and their effect on the final harvest. The images of the affected crops can be uploaded on the server, from here the algorithms can it pick up building a large repository of data for more accurate diagnosis.

Investment Needed for Prototype  for The 1001 Startup Ideas – IoT for Diagnosing Plants Health

For testing & building the prototype, pitch for raising 125 – 250K USD from angel investors or incubators like Robolabs, T-Hub, Thrive Agtech, AgFunder or others of a similar kind in your country. These incubators/accelerators can also help in the beta testing of the product.


Team Capability for The 1001 Startup Ideas – IoT for Diagnosing Plants Health

As this project will involve domain knowledge of Agriculture, the core team will need agriculture engineers/crop scientists with strong coding and analytical background.


Investors/expert take for The 1001 Startup Ideas – IoT for Diagnosing Plants Health

Internet of things (IOT) is seen as the future and will change the way we live and work. Therefore, the investors are keen to fund the good products with the potential market for monetization. Samsung has announced this year that it will invest USD 1.2 billion in ‘Internet of things startups.’ Google is one of the biggest investors in the IOT space and is also creating IOT products at its R&D center. Cisco, GE Ventures, and Qualcomm Ventures are other funds that are keen on investing in IOT startups.


Jappreet Sethi

CEO & Founder, YoStartups

YoStartups is a Pre Accelerator and it empowers entrepreneurs to propel their business ideas into successful ventures. Yostartups’ core mission is to take the message of entrepreneurship to 1 billion people globally by 2020, as on date Yostartups reaches out to over 100 million people globally through its direct and indirect channels.

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In case you are looking at scaling or launching a venture on similar lines, you can apply for our virtual acceleration program Excelrate on our website,, Yostartups’ Excelrate program will help you in streamlining and structuring your startup idea. We have limited scholarships and discount packs for deserving startups, depending on the strength of your application, you may qualify for a discount.


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