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Use of AI and IoT to change the way of agriculture practise

BENGALURU: From artificial intelligence (AI) to internet of things (IoT), the government hopes to harness a host of technologies, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs/drones), to change the way agriculture is practised. But the lack of a concrete plan that shows “how to go about it” means India, and also Karnataka, are still far from making any headway.

“Agriculture contributes only about 10% of the country’s GDP despite crores of people involved in the activity. While there have been several interventions through traditional research and new methods introduced in the sector, the need of the hour is to harness new technology and newer systems of agriculture,” said Maheshwar Rao, secretary, department of agriculture, at the Technology in Agriculture summit. The event was organised by the departments of agriculture and information technology.

Arguing that only modern technology can help in dealing with issues like scarcity of water, climate change and non-availability of input resources, Rao said both the government and the industry need to look at using IoT, AI, advances in GIS, biotech and computing to come up with the most suitable and localised solutions.

Speakers, while acknowledging that dependence on rain — 65% of the lands in Karnataka are rain-fed —is a major challenge, also spoke on different kinds of irrigation. Dana Kursh, consul-general of Israel to South India, said: “If you look at flood irrigation, only 30-50% water is used efficiently, while the same is somewhere between 70-84% in sprinkler irrigation methods. Micro-irrigation, which was invented in Israel, has 90-95% water-use efficiency, which has allowed us to see our desert bloom.”


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