AI-powered agriculture: Govt uses Artificial Intelligence to boost farming

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has begun the use of Artificial Intelligence on pilot basis for crop cutting and yield estimation under its flagship scheme Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yoajana. The move is aimed at cutting down the cost of farming while increasing productivity. It is also aimed at ensuring better prices for farmers. The government said this cutting edge technology can be leveraged in providing information and advisory services to farmers which will help in increasing productivity.

 

Talking about the government’s initiative to use Artificial Intelligence in farming, Narendra Singh Tomar, agriculture and farmers welfare minister said: “AI can be used in multiple domains of agriculture such as weather, crop and price forecasting, and yield estimation.

 

Under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, the government has carried out many pilot studies for optimization of crop cutting experiments, in which AI was used to optimization and yield estimation, said the minister.

 

It’s a significant departure from the traditional farming practiced in the country since ages that has resulted in low yields and excessive dependency on monsoon rains which has kept Indian farming at subsistence level. And failure of monsoon in the country has often resulted in failure of farming and suicides of farmers. But the use of cutting edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence may help Indian farmers to choose the right crop and minimise the risks.

 

In February 2016, Prime Minister Modi launched Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme called Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. Under the scheme, comprehensive coverage is provided to farmers against the failure of crops. The scheme covers sowing, germination risks, loss of standing crop, post-harvest loss, localised calamities and an addon coverage for loss of crop due to attack by wild animals. Several agencies were involved in these pilot projects by using Artificial Intelligence for crop cutting estimation under the PMFBY scheme.