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In May 2018, NITI Aayog partnered with IBM to develop a crop yield prediction model using AI to provide real-time advisory to farmers. The partnership aims to provide insights to enhance crop productivity, increase soil yield, and control agricultural inputs with the goal of improving farmers' income. The first phase of the project will focus on developing a model for 10 backward districts in Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
The objective of this project is to introduce and make available climate-aware cognitive farming techniques and identifying systems of crop monitoring, early warning on pest and disease outbreak based on advanced AI innovations. It also includes deployment of weather advisory rich satellite and enhanced weather forecast information along with IT and mobile applications with a focus on improving the crop yield and cost savings through better farm management.
Microsoft has begun empowering small-holder farmers in India to increase income through higher crop yield and greater price control using AI sensors. Microsoft is working with farmers, state governments, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare to create an ecosystem for AI into farming. Working with the engineering conglomerate Escorts for its cloud and AI technology, Microsoft is enabling precision agriculture capabilities and thus, helping farmers to make informed decisions.
Microsoft has developed an AI-Sowing App powered by Cortana Intelligence Suite including machine learning and Power BI. The app sends sowing advisories to participating farmers on the optimal date to sow. The farmers do not need to install any sensors in their fields or incur any capital expenditure, and just require phones which can receive text messages.
The project entitled "SENSAGRI: Sensor-based Smart Agriculture" involving six institutes (Agriculture & IT )is set to be funded by Information Technology Research Academy (ITRA), Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY), Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
The project uses drones, which has the ability for smooth scouting over farm fields, for gathering precise information and transmitting the data on a real-time basis. This capability could be used for the benefit of the farming sector at the regional or local scale for assessing land and crop health, extent, type, severity of damage besides issuing forewarning, post-event management, and settlement of compensation under crop insurance schemes. SENSAGRI proposes advanced proof-of-concept services such as yield and biomass, tillage change, irrigation, and advanced crop maps. The drones will not only capture a big area in very little time but the mapping and analysis by drones will also be done at a very low cost.