Vi leverages tech to boost farm productivity

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Telecom operator Vi is helping enhance rural incomes and raise farm productivity across 12 states in India with the use of smart technologies such as IoT sensors, artificial intelligence, cloud services and drone technology. Through its SmartAgri programme, the company is developing smart agriculture solutions to increase overall productivity and reduce the input costs. These solutions are developed by taking inputs from the farmers.
“Harnessing the power of technology like IoT sensors, artificial intelligence (AI), the cloud and drones, we’re driving a new green revolution that is transforming agri practices, empowering farmers and boosting farmland productivity,” said P Balaji, chief regulatory and corporate affairs officer at Vodafone Idea. “The programme focuses on transforming current agricultural practices into more ‘intelligent’ ones by using modern technology solutions.”
SmartAgri project, launched in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, in FY 2019-20, is now active in 12 states – Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Karnataka and Telangana — covering cultivation of crops such as soyabean, cotton, tea, mustard, sugarcane, etc. More than eight lakh small-marginal farmers have benefited from this programme till date.

According to Balaji, a perceptible rise in yields has helped boost farmer incomes by 70% depending on the type of crop, while driving a 23% reduction in input costs.
Farmers are trained and supported by field agents to counter challenges such as unpredictable weather patterns and over-dependence on pesticides by adopting good agricultural practices. For instance, IoT sensor technology provides farmers with real-time inputs on everything from soil and air quality and weather forecasts to wind strength and direction, presence of insects and pests and the stage of crop growth and readiness. It enables farmers to get the right advice based on the data from experts like agricultural scientists, field practitioners and corporates who are brought together on one platform creating a virtual ecosystem of agricultural stakeholders.

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Vi leverages tech to boost farm productivity

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