India being an agrarian economy, still faces a lot of issues within the agriculture sector. The farmers are at the mercy of weather and most of the time do not have access to the latest tool. Most of time they have to conduct their agricultural practices with in sufficient resources. All this leads to a lower productivity in this sector. This has refrained the Indian agriculture sector from growing to its full potential.
This could now be solved with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI). According to a report from Nasscom – Ernst & Young titled ‘Leveraging AI to maximize India’s agriculture output’, AI is expected to be a very useful tool in order to promote growth in India’s agricultural sector. It will have a crucial role in relieving the sector from stressful conditions and will cater to its shift towards data driven farming.
Debjani Ghosh, President at Nasscom said, “The Indian agriculture sector can utilize the potential of AI’s transformative capabilities through effective data practices. The Netherlands is a stellar example of effective AI adoption in agriculture. With just a small arable land the country has become the world’s 2nd largest exporter of agricultural products by value leveraging technology and AI.”
There are many problems affecting this sector today, lack of awareness is a major one. Another major problem is that there is no means to provide them access to such information or even tools to facilitate their farming practices. When it comes to water, the irrigation infrastructure too is not very compatible with the growing demands.
Debjani Ghosh also added that it is important for the government, industries and startups to join hands to provide necessary infrastructure and policy support and enable AI innovations across sectors. This must also be paired along with providing mentoring and providing financial support to the startups in order for the Indian agricultural sector to grow to its full potential and to realize the full potential of artificial intelligence.
AI has proved to be beneficial in agricultural sector in more than one ways. It enables effective weed selection, offers advices based on weather conditions, advices on sowing, and provides automated weeding and protection from pests. AI can also provide advice on how to utilize the resources such as pesticides, water and fertilizers to the maximum. This can be extremely beneficial in providing the farmers with the right type of information at the right time.
Not only that, combining the artificial intelligence capabilities with the real time sensor data will be able to solve a lot of issues related to supply chain such as reducing the production loss and wastage during transportation and storage.
Currently there are a few services available which provide information to the farmers on digital platforms. The National eGovernance Programme (NeGP) policy, a collaboration between the Government, startups and industries provide farmers with solutions to farmers to the problems they might face on operational basis. This could be regarding pesticides, weather, livestock management or soil heath.
These services are available on mobile platform through Kisan Suvidha, crop insurance and agri market. In order to access the information on web one must go to mKisan, farmers and crop insurance portal. Nasscom also added that it will continue to strive towards incorporating AI in the farming industry through co innovation and co creation.