May 2018 smartGOV_eMagazine_May2018 - Page 31

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.” –Vikram Shroff, Executive Director, UPL Limited predicted three months in advance for major markets in the state. 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. Microsoft has developed a multivariate agricultural commodity price forecasting model to predict future commodity arrival and the corresponding prices. The model uses remote sensing data from geo- stationary satellite images to predict crop yields through every stage of farming. This data along with other inputs such as historical sowing area, production, yield, weather, among other datasets, are used in an elastic- net framework to predict the timing of arrival of grains in the market as well as their quantum, which would determine their pricing. “We are certain that digital agriculture supported by advanced technology platforms will truly benefit farmers. We believe that Microsoft’s technology will support these innovative experiments which will help us transform the lives of the farmers in our state,” says Dr. T.N. Prakash Kammardi, Chairman, Karnataka Agricultural Price Commission, Government of Karnataka. The model currently being used to predict the prices of tur, is scalable, and time efficient and can be generalized to many other regions and crops. AI in agriculture is just getting started Shifting weather patterns such as increase in temperature, changes in precipitation levels, and ground water density, can affect farmers, especially those who are dependent on timely rains for their crops. Leveraging the cloud and AI to predict advisories for sowing, pest control and commodity pricing, is a major initiative towards creating increased income and providing stability for the agricultural community. “Indian agriculture has been We are certain that digital agriculture supported by advanced technology platforms will truly benefit farmers.” – Dr. T.N. Prakash Kammardi, Chairman, KAPC, Government of Karnataka traditionally rain dependent and climate change has made farmers extremely vulnerable to crop loss. Insights from AI through the agriculture life cycle will help reduce uncertainty and risk in agriculture operations. Use of AI in agriculture can potentially transform the lives of millions of farmers in India and world over,” says Anil Bhansali, CVP C+E and Managing Director, Microsoft India (R&D) Pvt. Ltd. Photos courtesy of ICRISAT  31 | May 2018 |