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17-year-old student creates device to detect bacterial attack on crops

Grandson of a farmer, Bhubaneswar’s Rishikesh Amit Nayak has created a device which can detect a bacterial attack on crops and alert farmers on the type of bacteria, potential diseases and prevention. The 17-year-old’s technology has won the best innovation price at Avishkar make-a-thon competition.

 “Farmer suicide due to crop failure is very common. Hailing from a farmer family, I was aware of the issue at a very young age. In 2017, when I was in class 9, I used to read a lot about farmer suicides in newspapers and decided to research on it. I found that 80 per cent of crop failure is due to a bacteria attack and while we have solutions for weather conditions, there is very little done to prevent bacterial attack on fields. I decided to work for this cause,” he said.

 Nayak claims his invention is more advanced than the current bacterial attack detection technology used by NABARD. “While theirs gives results in a month, my invention can do it in 12 hours. My technology uses thermal imaging instead of chemical composition. A dip or rise in temperature of plants can help us detect their health,” stated the 11th grader.

 Despite working on it since class 9, Nayak also won NTSE scholarship and scored over 90 per cent in his class 10 boards. Currently studying computer science, Nayak has help from Intel and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for his project.

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