Why AI has decide to feed of agriculture

By arvind |Email | Aug 24, 2018 | 10674 Views

As if working on improving these machines and technologies was not enough for an AI's diet that it had to introduce itself to agriculture, "I want some read food now". Yes, AI is now moving to agriculture sector helping farmers in India to help them with their crop, helping farmers to save their crops from getting attacked by pests. Farmers in Andhra Pradesh are receiving messages and voice calls that tell them when to sow the seeds based on the weather conditions and crop stage, technologies are helping farmers get a higher crop yield so that they can the most money for what they produce. This digital agriculture also helps the government to the idea about the future price of the commodities that can help the plan the Minimum Support Price.

In this article we are going to read in detail about how it is helping farmers sow seeds at the right time, how it is helping the government and how AI is helping farmers protect their crops from pest attack. Because no one likes pest until it is control. 

The magic number of 30%

While other farmers while preparing to sow the field in the beginning of June, because why not it is an age old method that predicts early June is the right time to sow crops, because nothing has changed in ages no climate change, no global warming effect nothing. A farmer name Chinnavenkateswarlu because of message received sowed his crops three weeks late then the usual sow time. What a foul right, no, he received an average of 30 % higher yield per hectare than last year. "Sowing date as such is very critical to ensure that farmers harvest a good crop. And if it fails, it results in loss as a lot of costs are incurred for seeds, as well as the fertilizer applications," says Dr. Suhas P. Wani, Director, Asia Region, of the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), a non-profit, non-political organization that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with a wide array of partners throughout the world. 

How did this all happen?

This all happened because of an AI sowing app created by the collaboration of Microsoft and ICRISAT. Powered by Cortana it uses Machine Learning and Power BI. On the optimal date the farmers receive the text message that tells them what the right time to sow is. To use the app the farmers don't need any fancy technologies, all they need is a phone that can receive messages, which would have been a fancy technology if it was what 1980s-90s. The app tells the farmers how to prepare the land the right fertilizers based on soil tests and the sowing date.

AI is the scarecrow your crop need for pest attack

Are you too tired of your crops getting attacked by pest, these Jassids and whitely will no longer be able to do so. 
With the help of AI, Pest Risk Prediction an API was created that is able to tell in advance if there is a risk of pest attack. This technology is a work of Microsoft's collaboration with United Phosphorous (UPL) largest producer of agrochemicals in India. The technology is already being used by almost 3000 farmers across 50 villages in the states of MP, Maharashtra and Telangana for their cotton crop.
Vikram Shroff of UPL limited says, "Our collaboration with Microsoft to create a Pest Risk Prediction API enables farmers to get predictive insights on the possibility of pest infestation. This empowers them to plan in advance, reducing crop loss due to pests and thereby helping them to double the farm income."

Government getting the help from AI to help the people

At present, price forecasting for agricultural commodities using historical data and short-term arrivals is being used by the state government to protect farmers from price crash or shield population from high inflation. However, such accurate data collection is expensive and can be subject to tampering.
Predictive analysis in agriculture is not limited to crop growing alone. The government of Karnataka will start using price forecasting for agricultural commodities, in addition to sowing advisories for farmers in the state. Commodity prices for items such as tur, of which Karnataka is the second largest producer, will be predicted three months in advance for major markets in the state. 

Source: HOB