AI Farming: India’s Smart Solution To Growing Better Crops

Jun 18, 2019 | Biz, India, News

Madhya Pradesh, India | Rajarshi Mitra

Smart farming has recently been making huge changes in India’s agricultural sector. With just the touch of a button, small-time farmers now have a viable way to elevate their industry and enjoy an increase of income thanks to higher crop yield.

Hungry for Change

Like in most countries in Asia, India’s economy relies hugely in agriculture. According to an IBEF report, almost 60 percent of the rural households in the country depend on what the land yields for them. Meanwhile, agricultural goods constitute over 10 percent of India’s export.

Considering how important this sector is for the country’s well-being, India is spearheading an initiative that aims to elevate the industry.

Going beyond the rudimentary means of farming i.e., tractors and ploughs, the latest tools that each Indian farmer must have can now be found in their smartphones and tablets, so to speak.

Crop Management Apps

Working together in this drive are government sectors and several tech companies, for example, Microsoft.

Anant Maheshwari, the president of Microsoft India, spoke in an interview about creating “an ecosystem for AI into farming.” This involved the farmers themselves, local government units, and the ministries of information technology and agriculture.

There are already a number of localities that enjoyed these huge changes.

Farmers in Telangana, Marashtra, and Madhya Pradesh, for instance, get to receive regular prompts informing them of possible pest attacks on their crops.

The warnings given are based on accumulated records and predictions of weather changes, as well as the stock knowledge on the different stages of a certain crop.

Sowing-App-Infographgic

Microsoft is also collaborating with the International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) to develop the Sowing App – a crop management application which utilizes Microsoft’s Cortana Intelligence Suite.

One of the app’s essential functions is to send notifications to farmers that tell them the ideal time to sow. The farmers won’t have to shell out a single cent to access this service.

Price Watch

Yet another aspect that hinders farmers from achieving profitable success from their hardwork is price fluctuation.

Unstable prices throw farmers off from their most profitable production pattern. These circumstances often left farmers losing not only their overhead capital but their revenue as well. Some fortunate ones could barely break even.

Meanwhile, middlemen make steady profit regardless of the market prices. These people would even go the length to deceive farmers into selling their goods for cheap.

But this will all soon change. According to a report, India’s Karnataka Agricultural Prices Commission, together with various tech firms, is providing solutions that would enable farmers monitor market prices, in real time.

These solutions that come in a form of apps provide real-time updates on the prices of a given crop. Needless to say, this could help farmers put reasonable prices on their valuable goods.

The Future is Farming

The only consequence seen as India’s farming sector gets more high-tech than ever is the country’s rural agri-economy scaling up.

This development could open up many opportunities which are not only inclusive for those in the agricultural industry, but to other sectors as well, particularly in the information technology.

As smartphones get cheaper and internet coverage getting wider, it’s now nearly impossible not to become a smart farmer.

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