Prince John, Ebin Alias, Richard Joy, and Jo Paul John from Ernakulam, Kerala, grew up as close friends from their school days, sharing a deep passion for starting their own venture. Although they pursued engineering in different streams and embarked on separate career paths, they never lost sight of their shared dream of launching their own tech firm that could have a positive impact on the lives of farmers.
Years later, their vision took shape as they officially founded their company, “uFarms.io,” with a mission to harness the latest advancements in technology to help farmers increase yield while reducing input costs through the power of technology and the Internet of Things (IoT). Their innovative solutions integrate IoT devices, data analytics, and artificial intelligence to empower farmers with actionable insights and efficient practices.
One of the co-founders, Richard Joy, says, “We studied together from first standard to tenth standard. We wanted to create something that would transform the agricultural landscape for the better. Although we all worked in different companies after completing our engineering, we decided to come together to start a venture that could use technology in farming.”
Since its inception in 2020, their company, uFarms.io, has now set up the state’s largest fully-automated hydroponic farm, spanning 16,000 square feet. Their groundbreaking solutions have earned them prestigious endowments and accolades, including the Nidhi Prayas Grant, NIDHI EIR Fellowship, and the EY Climathon Runner-up award.
“We offer a range of IoT devices that monitor crucial parameters such as soil moisture, weather conditions, and pest infestations. The data collected from these devices is processed using machine learning algorithms to provide farmers with real-time information and predictive analytics, enabling them to make informed decisions about crop management and resource allocation,” he said.
Everything from watering to manuring is controlled by devices, ensuring minimal human labor is required to run a farm. “We are now running three to four automated farms in Kerala and are receiving orders from other states. By optimising resource usage, our system helps farmers save on input costs while increasing yields. This can be a game-changer for small and large-scale farmers alike,” Richard told “Open Digest“.
The startup has gained significant attention from the agricultural community, even abroad, and has now earned the coveted UK Startup Visa, marking a significant milestone in the agri-tech firm’s journey towards redefining farming through innovation-driven practices.
“We are working on fully automated farms that are climate and geography-specific. In the UK, we will be working on developing small automated indoor farms that people can use to grow vegetables required for their own consumption,” he added. As these four young entrepreneurs continue to take their startup to new heights, their goal is to extend their services to farmers beyond their region and make a meaningful impact on agriculture worldwide.