Agriculture and farming contribute to building a strong foundation for the country, that can resist calamities and threats. Especially in a country like India where agriculture is the primary activity and source of livelihood a large number, it is imperative that it should be refined and upgraded according to the changing times so that farmers draw benefits from the latest advancements in science and technology which will, in turn, contribute to a better and progressive economy.
Hyderabad is taking its first step to using artificial intelligence for their agricultural processes, which will be of substantial help in enhancing efficiency and optimizing the costs. The state recently signed an MoU in collaboration with the Wadhwani Institute for the deployment of artificial intelligence. This will remarkably back the cotton farmers of Telangana to fight pest infestations effectively, thereby eliminating one crucial roadblock to successful agricultural results.
The AI Solution
The solution developed by the Wadhwani Institue is based on artificial intelligence and it works by helping the farmers to gain scientific knowledge concerning farming from experts in the field. The only pre-requisite for the solution is a smartphone. Real-time localized advice and surveillance are provided by the solution which is delivered through an app. Blending scientific mastery to traditional methods will bring forth an effective collaboration that augments the efforts and experience of the farmers, resulting in better results and productivity.
How Does It Work?
Pest infestations are a major challenging factor to successful farming. It can adversely affect the final crop while also leading to losses to the farmers. There is a limitation to using traditional methods for the detection of pest infestations. This is where artificial intelligence comes in, filling the gaps and adding better clarity to the fight against pests.
By enabling the farmers to detect the infestations early, it allows them to take suitable corrective measures that are capable of avoiding damage to the crop. The right and immediate action facilitated by the use of artificial intelligence will reflect in the quality of the cotton crop, which by default will increase the revenues of the farmers. The AI solution used is capable of detecting pink bollworm and American bollworm, the two pests which can affect the crops quite adversely and wreak havoc.
Around 150 villages were equipped with this solution in Kharif 2020. The results and benefits of the solution are being analyzed by E&Y, a management consultancy. The impact evaluation will throw light on the results pertaining to crop yields, price as well as the differences in the income of farmers. The results will be available around May 2021.
The project is also being supported by Google and partners like IDH and IGS. The AI solution is provided free of cost by Wadhwani to the state.