HYDERABAD: Now, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be used in the State to help cotton farmers. The Agriculture Department has signed an MoU with the Wadhwani Institute for AI to assist cotton farmers beat pest infestations.
Wadhwani has developed an AI solution that equips smallholding cotton farmers with the scientific knowledge of an agriculture expert, with the help of a smartphone. The solution, delivered via an app, provides real-time localised advisory and surveillance.
It enables farmers to catch pest infestations early and take corrective measures to avoid significant crop damage. The immediate action on pest will improve the quality of the cotton and fetch more revenues to the farmers. The AI solution is able to predict pink bollworm and Amercian bollworm - the two of the most devastating pests for cotton crop.
In Kharif 2020, the AI solution was deployed in 150 villages for 7,000 farmers. Management consultancy E&Y is conducting an impact evaluation of Kharif 2020 on crop yields and price, as well as impact on farmers' income. The result will be available in May, 2021.
The project is also supported by Google and partners including IDH and IGS. While Wadhwani AI is providing their solution free-of-cost to the State, IICT Hyderabad has agreed to procure traps and lures which will be deployed along with Wadhwani AI's app in 2,800 villages.