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Startup’s Innovation Retains Animals Away From Farms With out Hurting Them

Do you know that in India, as per The Week, between 2018 and 2020, about 1,401 people and 301 elephants have been killed as a result of conflicts​?

In Maharashtra alone, tiger assaults prompted 86 deaths in 2021 and 105 in 2022​. Whereas these would possibly seem to be mere numbers, animal battle is a rising concern amongst farmers. 

Human-animal battle has been a lingering challenge for many years. Human encroachment on forest land has been a rising pattern leaving animals astray. The results of that is elevated animal exercise in human settlements. Those paying essentially the most for this are farmers and landowners residing across the fringes. 

Whereas the query of who-is-endangering-and-encroaching-on-whose-space prevails, farmers in areas like Uttarakhand, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat face heavy losses as a result of animal encroachment. 

Whereas improvements to maintain animals at bay have been developed by firms all throughout the nation, there are a couple of who intention at scaring the animals away with out the intention of wounding them.  

“Katidhan goals to assist farmers mitigate their losses whereas conserving the animals at a distance. We examine their actions and use know-how to scare the animals from human settlements,” S R Ayan, xyz, shares in a dialog with The Higher India.

Katidhan is a Bengaluru-based startup that helps farmers scale back wildlife-related losses with their modern merchandise geared toward a innocent decision of such conflicts. The startup was additionally featured on a Shark Tank episode in season 3, bagging a deal of Rs 1.5 crore. 

Improvements that don’t hurt the animals    

Hailing from Bengaluru, Ayan is a robotics engineer who labored on constructing client robots. “I used to be working within the metropolis when a pal highlighted the problem of human-wildlife battle. He defined how this challenge exists and has been leading to losses, and I used to be fairly bowled over,” he says. 

On additional analysis, Ayan realised the depth of the problem and the way it’s prevalent in most states in India. 

“In a bid to guard their fields, farmers would resort to issues like electrical fencing which may probably damage the animals,” he notes. 

Ayan wanted to help farmers suffering from wild-life-related losses.
Ayan wished to assist farmers affected by wild-life-related losses.

The engineer’s mind bought into problem-solving mode and the concept of Katidhan was born. “The world wanted extra options that didn’t hurt the animals. I used to be searching for newer tasks to work on and this felt like an ideal alternative,” he says. 

So Ayan got down to discover a answer and picked up a small group of scientists and engineers to develop an animal-friendly decision. “The extra I spoke to the farmers in several areas throughout the preliminary phases of the venture, the extra I realised how small-scale farmers undergo extra as a result of animal assaults. They often lose greater than 15 % of their crop as a result of animal assaults,” he says. 

He provides, “I actually sympathise with their state of affairs and wished to assist them and save the animals from merciless units too. I may see that the trade was ravenous for improvements and I thus laid the inspiration of Katidhan,” he says. 

The merchandise

Citing that each one their merchandise are non-invasive, Ayan explains, “Our merchandise are non-invasive and designed to discourage animals with out inflicting any bodily hurt. They work by altering behavioural patterns to scare the animals away. That is essential as a result of present strategies, like electrical fences, can hurt animals and even unsuspecting farmers.” 

They provide two variations of their deterrent know-how.

“One among our most important merchandise is a solar-powered auto gentle, efficient in opposition to numerous wild animals comparable to elephants, wild boars, and tigers. It’s referred to as Parabraksh. This product operates robotically, flashing in several patterns all through the night time, creating the phantasm of one other animal within the space, which deters these animals from getting into the fields,” he says. 

It’s a solar-powered autonomous gentle answer.

“It operates robotically, switching on at sundown and flashing in numerous patterns all through the night time,” he explains. 

He provides, “The LED gentle itself isn’t inherently threatening. It’s the way in which the system is designed to be perceived by the animals that makes it efficient.”

One other important product that the corporate gives is the bioplastic scare system, which they name Kaapikat.

All the products provided by the startup are non-invasive and do not harm the animals.
All of the merchandise offered by the startup are non-invasive and don’t hurt the animals.

“It makes use of sensors to detect movement and performs completely different animal sounds to maintain them away, notably specializing in monkeys. Nonetheless, monkeys are very sensible and their behaviour varies by area, so we solely promote this product selectively and encourage farmers to check it of their space earlier than making a bigger buy,” he explains.

Additionally they supply customised options combining gentle and sound deterrents for particular wants. “This flexibility permits us to cater to several types of wildlife and their distinctive behaviours,” he says.

‘2000+ farmers benefitted’ 

Speaking concerning the challenges that they confronted initially, Ayan recollects, “Our group consists of 4 to five devoted members, and it took us about two-and-a-half years to develop these merchandise.” 

“Understanding the behaviour of various animals and the way it adjustments with the seasons was essential. For example, elephants and wild boars behave otherwise within the winter in comparison with the summer season. We conduct pilots for no less than 2 to three months to make sure the effectiveness of our merchandise over completely different seasons,” he provides.

One of the crucial important challenges that he confronted was a lack of expertise among the many farmers.

“The farmers discovered it obscure how a easy gentle may deter animals once they have been experiencing important issues with wildlife. To deal with this, we carried out quite a few demonstrations and partnered with organisations and farmer-produce organisations,” he says.

Ayan ran pilots for 3-6 months in numerous areas, permitting farmers to see the effectiveness of their options firsthand.

“This hands-on expertise helped them belief and undertake the know-how. Moreover, there was a common lack of know-how amongst farmers and villagers about non-invasive strategies to take care of wildlife. Many have been inclined to make use of dangerous strategies to guard their crops,” he provides. 

“Introducing them to new, humane applied sciences required important effort in schooling and demonstration to indicate that these options may very well be efficient with out inflicting hurt to the animals.” 

To this point, the corporate has reached and collaborated with greater than 2,000 farmers throughout the nation together with in states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttrakhand.

Suresh Majhi, who’s a farmer from Bandhuabeda in Karnataka, owns a small farm the place he grows mangoes, cashews and aamla (gooseberries). 

“Alternatively, I additionally develop greens. The world is liable to lots of elephant infiltrations and I used to be struggling to maintain my farm secure. I heard concerning the machine Parabraksh and spent some cash on putting in it. It was a terrific resolution as a result of the know-how has not solely scared the animals away but additionally helped me enhance my earnings. Because the set up, my earnings has elevated by Rs 80,000 as a result of diminished lack of crop,” he shares. 

Farmers desirous about putting in these units can attain out to Ayan right here.

(Edited by Padmashree Pande; All photographs credit score: Ayan)

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