Gary S. Chapman, via Modern Farmer
Gary S. Chapman, via Modern Farmer

Vijayaragavan Viswanathan, a scientist with the European Organization for Nuclear Research, resides in the Czech Republic, but he’s no stranger to his native land’s agrarian woes. Growing up in southern India, Viswanathan saw firsthand how limited access to education and basic crop information kept many farmers locked in a cycle of low productivity and poverty. To combat this situation—and capitalize on the fact that India, a nation with 1.2 billion citizens, now has almost a billion mobile subscribers—he developed SmartAgri, an app that communicates with underground sensors to deliver easy-to-understand data, such as soil moisture and mineral levels, to farmers’ mobile devices.

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