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Artificial Intelligence: Defining the future of agriculture

As many as 100 mobile apps functioning in the areas of crops, horticulture, veterinary, dairy, poultry, fisheries, natural resources management and integrated subjects, offer valuable information to the farmers

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An Inter-Ministerial Committee to examine issues relating to doubling of farmers’ income by 2022 has, inter-alia, appreciated the role of digital technology, which can play a transformational role in modernising and organising how rural India performs its agricultural activities. The technologies include Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data Analytics, Blockchain Technology, Internet of Things (IoT) among various others. By use of the modern and advance technologies along with Artificial Intelligence and giving accurate and timely information regarding crops, weather and insects to the farmers may improve the crop productivity, reduce the risk and improve the income of the farmers, Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar in the Rajya Sabha.

Major technology interventions include: -

  • Development of Kisan Suvidha mobile application to facilitate dissemination of information to farmers on the critical parameters such as weather; market prices; plant protection; input dealers like seed, pesticides, fertilisers; farm machinery; extreme weather alerts; soil health card; cold storages and godowns; veterinary centres and diagnostic labs. With market information, farmers can be made better informed about markets to sell produce, prevailing market prices and quantity demanded in the market. Thus, they can make informed decisions to sell produce at the right price and right time.
  • Development of ‘Farm Machinery package for Different Agro-Climatic Zones in India’ mobile application, which gives information on farm machinery package available for state-wise, agro-climatic zone wise, district-wise, cropping pattern wise and power source wise.
  • Development of ‘My Ciphet’ mobile application to help farmers to get precise information regarding the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) developed post-harvest technologies, products and machineries.
  • ICAR has also compiled more than 100 mobile apps developed by ICAR, state agricultural universities (SAU) along with Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and uploaded on its website. These mobile apps developed in the areas of crops, horticulture, veterinary, dairy, poultry, fisheries, natural resources management and integrated subjects, offer valuable information to the farmers, including package of practices, market prices of various commodities, weather related information, advisory services among related issues.
  • Development of mKisan Portal for sending advisories on various crop related matters to the registered farmers through SMS.
  • Launching of e-National Agriculture Market (eNAM) initiative to provide farmers an electronic online trading platform.
  • Introduction of Soil Health Card scheme to assist state governments in providing soil health cards to all farmers across the country once in a cycle of two years. Soil health card provides information to the farmers on nutrient status of their soil along with recommendations on appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied for improving crop productivity and soil fertility.
  • Using machine learning process along with different computer algorithm for crop classification and area estimation.

Further, ICAR is functioning 713 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and 684 Agricultural Technology Management Agencies (ATMA) at district level for dissemination of technologies among farming community. In addition, farmers are provided information through Focused Publicity Campaigns, Kisan Call Centres (KCC), Agri-clinics and Agri-Business Centres of entrepreneurs, agriculture fairs and exhibitions, Kisan SMS portal among various ways, the minister added.

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