Currently, the pilot program focuses on orchards and involves six farmers in the Anantapur district– one of the driest areas in India. Though it is too early to determine whether the tool is successful, preliminary results are promising. Though the pilot is focused on trees, an additional experiment was conducted with a tomato farm in the Krishna district. In this experiment the Tal-Ya plot yielded more than three times the amount than the control plots. As a result, the student researchers are currently making plans to expand the experiment to vegetables in the next cycle. This has the potential not only to benefit farmers by saving water and increasing yield, but it will also have a positive impact on the environment. Tal-Ya’s product is meant to last ten years and is recyclable– allowing farmers to substantially reduce the use of single-use plastic.
In addition, the research group recently concluded its first post-harvest tech-pilot. Post-harvest solutions are important as crops often suffer substantial damages after being harvested, but before being sold. The Israeli argitech company Amaizz attempts to provide cheap post-harvest tools that minimize the losses caused by crop spoilage and degradation throughout the handling, storage, and processing stages.