Digital Agriculture

Country
India
Sustainable development goals
  • Zero hunger
Project link
https://news.microsoft.com/en-in/features/ai-agriculture-icrisat-upl-india/

About the project

Microsoft in collaboration with the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), developed an Artificial Intelligence Sowing App to support thousands of farmers in a few dozen villages in Telengana, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, India. The app sends sowing advisories to participating farmers based on data analysed by artificial intelligence.

More project information

Microsoft in collaboration with the ICRISAT, developed an Artificial Intelligence Sowing App to support thousands of farmers in a few dozen villages in Telengana, Adhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, India. The sowing app provides the best times to sow depending on weather conditions, soil and other indicators, relieving Indian farmers from inaccurate forecasts.

The app relies on business intelligence tools powered by Microsoft Cortana Intelligence Suite and Power BI, that give clear insights powered by weather observation systems and global forecast models. The data behind the sowing advisories include climate data and Moisture Adequacy Index (MAI), which measures rainfall record and soil moisture. Artificial intelligence analyses the historic climate data spanning over 30 years, from 1986 to 2015, to determine the crop-sowing period. It also calculates MAI to assess potential water requirement of crops. The real-time MAI is calculated from the daily rainfall recorded and reported by the Andhra Pradesh State Development Planning Society. The future MAI is calculated from weather forecasting models for the area. This data is then downscaled to build predictability, and guide farmers to pick the ideal sowing week. Once the data is processed, the farmers receive an advisory, which contains the optimal sowing date, soil test based fertilizer application, farm yard manure application, seed treatment, optimum sowing depth, and more. In tandem with the app, a personalized village advisory dashboard provided important insights into soil health, recommended fertilizer, and seven-day weather forecasts. India is an agrarian society with over 58 per cent of the rural households depends on agriculture as their principal means of livelihood. However, growing effects of climate change influence the agricultural productivity of India, calling for innovative ways to empower farmers to face the threats of climate change. The project builds farmers’ capacity to adapt and respond to climate change and increase agricultural productivity help meet Zero Hunger and Climate Action goals.