Agriculture in India Can Scale New Highs with Emerging Tech like AI, Says WEF

Agriculture in India Can Scale New Highs with Emerging Tech like AI, Says WEF

The agriculture sector in India can be transformed by promoting the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies, says the World Economic Forum while unveiling a report on July 20 in Hyderabad.

Releasing the phase-1 report of the ‘Saagu Baagu’ (‘agriculture advancement’ in the Telugu language) being implemented by the Telangana government in collaboration with it, the WEF said its AI for Agriculture Innovation (AI4AI) initiative has helped more than 7,000 chilli farmers get access to agritech services in the first phase.

In the project’s pilot phase, these agritech services include AI-based advisories, soil testing, produce quality testing and e-commerce. The Government of Telangana plans to scale these services in phase II (from 2023 onwards) to 20,000 chilli and groundnut farmers in three districts of the state. The digital public infrastructure will also be introduced in the second phase. In phase III, by 2025, the target is to reach 1,00,000 farmers.

The first-of-its-kind public-private initiative for agritech in India, Saagu Baagu aims to unlock Ease of Doing Innovation in agriculture and horticulture. It is aimed at bringing value addition with mainstreaming of innovative new age technologies in agriculture. Initiated in 2022, it is being implemented by Digital Green (in consortium with three agritech startups) with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.