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Artificial Intelligence (AI) Making Farming Hi-Tech

Here’s how Artificial Intelligence is going to change the way farming is done in the India. The AI solutions promise informed inputs to farmers and other stakeholders in the ecosystem, right from sowing to harvesting and then to post-harvest help.

The solutions are going to give them heads up on the likelihood of rain, outbreak of diseases or attack of pests and on soil health condition. The information gathered from the field using satellite images and sensors on balloons would be juxtaposed with historical weather and other agronomic data to generate customized data for a specific farmer on a specific crop.

Microsoft has tied up with International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) to develop a system designed specially to suit the needs of farmers in countries like India, while IT major Tech Mahindra is planning to have a team of 1,000 employees to focus exclusive on its initiative for agriculture.

The Microsoft-ICRISAT duo is planning to scale up this experiment to cover 10,000 farmers next year, after piloting the solution in 14 districts in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka with over 3,000 farmers taking part in it.

Keeping in view the cost-sensitive environment and small holdings, Microsoft is using tethered balloons to take pictures of farms to gather information on the soil and the crop.

A senior official of ICRISAT has said, “We don’t bombard the farmers with a plethora of messages. We keep the messages very short and space them out over days. If you send them more, they might lose interest.”


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