How can artificial intelligence aid the agricultural sector?

Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to use of machines for tasks which otherwise require human interventions. Indian agriculture is haunted by limitations posed by inconsistent factors such as climate change, population growth, and food security concerns. Addressing of these challenges requires innovative approach. AI can be an effective partner for addressing these challenges.
Crop Health
The data from farm drones and Satellite images can be utilized by the machines to access the health of the crop and suggest any interventions if required. This will aid in digitization of agriculture.
Animal Husbandry
In Ireland a pilot project is running with face recognition technology on cows. It is to track the behaviour, eating patterns, and overall health of livestock. The analysed data will be then sent to farmers. By installing cameras in feeding areas, a baseline of typical bovine behaviour can be determined as AI scans cows’ faces. The algorithms developed will flag any changes related to weight, eating or drinking, and movement. The early detection of health problems by AI will be of great help to farmers in making the necessary adjustments. Similar technology can be developed for rapidly progressing poultry sector in India.
Automation
Autonomous robots can developed to handle essential agricultural tasks such as harvesting crops and weed management with more efficiency as compared to human labourers.
Agriculture management
Crop and soil monitoring using computer vision and deep-learning algorithms to monitor crop and soil health and Predictive analytics using machine learning models to track and predict various environmental impacts on crop yield such as weather changes.
Price monitoring
AI can be used to determine the price fluctuations in future. This aids the farmers in making an informed decision about cropping patterns.
AI is a future technology which can aid in automating and digitizing Indian agriculture. India must build an effective environment for collaboration of AI and agriculture to boost the productivity and growth of agricultural sector.

Question for UPSC Mains:
How can artificial intelligence aid the agricultural sector?

Published: March 15, 2018 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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