<p>Artificial Intelligence Innovations can change the future of agriculture, but we need to provide effective use cases for it to be adopted at a large scale.</p><p>The global population is growing, disposable income is rising, consumption habits are changing, climate change is becoming more real, and natural resources are becoming scarce. All this means is we need more food to be cultivated within limited land, natural and human resources.</p><p>Given this immediate need for more food per drop of water, per acre of land, per dollar spent on the farm, and per farmer employed, farmers are under a lot of pressure to be more productive. The structure of the agriculture and food sector is such that it puts an immense risk at the doorstep of the weakest link in the chain, the farmers.</p><p>If we ignore this as an agrarian crisis building up that will impact only farmers and the farming community, we would be acting like an ostrich. Low productivity and visible distress in this sector impact each one of us as it will compromise our food security, environmental security, and last but not least economic security. It is high time each one of us irrespective of whether we are Policy Makers, Entrepreneurs, Corporate Professionals, Technologists, Scientists, Innovators, or Farmers, we need to look for ways to minimize risks associated with farming, increase productivity at the farm level, reduce food loss and ensure fairness in agriculture trade while ensuring minimal impact on the nature.</p><p>Implementing artificial intelligence in agriculture on a global scale is one of the most promising opportunities of the century, as artificial intelligence can potentially change the way we produce and consume food. Artificial intelligence on one hand can enable farmers to achieve more results with less effort while on the other bringing quality, nutritional, and safe food to the table of every human on the planet. The use of innovations in artificial intelligence will also lead to many other environmental and economic benefits. </p><p>However, artificial intelligence is not a technology that works independently. Artificial intelligence needs to be supplemented with a favorable policy environment, well-defined roadmaps of assistive technologies for data collection, and awareness at the grassroots level. Artificial intelligence isn’t a panacea but can bring tangible benefits to every aspect of the agriculture and food sector. </p><p>So how can we use artificial intelligence for sustainable and profitable farming? What are the opportunities of artificial intelligence in agriculture? How can artificial intelligence help us tackle some of the long-standing existing challenges? All these questions can be answered if we see some of the global cases of use and deployment of artificial intelligence.</p><p><strong>Seven top innovators leveraging artificial intelligence in agriculture successfully are as below.</strong></p><p><strong>INARI</strong></p><p>Inari is unlocking the full potential of every seed by leveraging nature’s most effective strategy, Diversity. Inari embraces diversity in every aspect of its business to drive innovation through its SEEDesign™ platform. Inari's technology matches the complexity of nature to transform seed using predictive design and advanced multiplex gene editing – an unrivaled toolbox in depth and scope. The result is step-change products that lead to more productive acres and a more sustainable future for the food system with the potential to reduce the use of water and nitrogen by 40% and increase productivity by 20%. </p><p>Inari collaborates with stakeholders to best understand the challenges facing farmers, society, and the planet, then locate its source in the genetic code of the crop and solve it within the seed. Inari is harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to gain a true understanding of the complexities of nature. From sequence to phenotype to field performance – our world-class data science and software engineering teams power a proprietary genetic design platform applicable to any trait, crop, or geography.</p><p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://kradminasset.s3.ap-south-1.amazonaws.com/ExpertViews/deepak+1+.png" /></p><p>Image from Inari Website. © 2021 Inari Agriculture, Inc. All Rights Reserved.</p><p><strong>Regrow</strong></p><p>Transforming agriculture systems is the single most important thing we can do to combat climate change. Regrow unlocks the power of resilient agriculture to combat climate change and grow profitability. Regrow is a company that empowers the food and agriculture industries to adopt, scale, and monetize resilient agricultural practices. It is a multinational team of scientists, agronomists, engineers, and software developers committed to transforming the supply chain from farm to fork to ensure a prosperous future for people and the planet.</p><p>Regrow empower resilient agriculture for all stakeholders of the food system through its products and platforms. Regrow is a digital platform to unlock the power and profitability of resilient agriculture through a single, measurable, and verifiable system. Regrow combines best-in-class agronomy with soil and carbon modelling to deliver customized, site-specific and scalable solutions to businesses across the supply chain. Regrow platform provides remote sensing imagery by using precise hyperspectral cameras onboard drones or satellites to estimate crop performance and diagnosis, enabling farmers and agronomists to know about the problems of modern crop production such as stress identification which saves on chemicals and increase their yields.</p><p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://kradminasset.s3.ap-south-1.amazonaws.com/ExpertViews/deepak+2.png" /></p><p>Image from Regrow Website. © 2021 Regrow. All Rights Reserved.</p><p><strong>CIBO</strong></p><p>CIBO, a science-based software company, was founded to apply science and technology to the scaling of environmentally and economically sustainable agriculture. By using big data, computer vision, remote sensing, and science-based modelling, CIBO delivers unique field-level insights at a national scale to empower users with the knowledge needed to take action. CIBO relies upon proven, scientific modelling that helps to understand “how a plant grows. CIBO generates rich insights from all kinds of raw data from the field, including remote sensing data, by applying proprietary data science algorithms, computer vision, and AI modelling. Then we combine those insights with easy access to publicly available data for a unified set of rich land details about each parcel. Since CIBO value—but don’t rely upon—local data input by farmers, it unburdens farmers from inputting data details about their land and enabling insights to scale infinitely.</p><p>Dr. Bruno Basso, an internationally renowned professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Michigan State University, founded CIBO based on an exclusively licensed technology developed over 30 years from Michigan State University that simulates the way plants grow daily in varied environments. CIBO engineers scaled that core technology and augmented it with critical elements, including proprietary data science algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) modelling applied to satellite imagery. Both the technology and the approach are continually enriched with farmers’ collaboration around the country to validate data models and obtain feedback on insights and offerings.</p><p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://kradminasset.s3.ap-south-1.amazonaws.com/ExpertViews/deepak+3+.png" /></p><p>Image from CIBO Website. © 2021 CIBO. All Rights Reserved</p><p><strong>CropIn</strong></p><p>CropIn is an Earth Observation & AI-led AgTech organization that empowers the farming community to ‘Re-imagine Agriculture with Data’. CropIn is focused on helping the world’s ag-ecosystem players to sustainably “maximize their per-acre value” by combining pixel-level data derived from satellite imagery, in combination with IoT and field intelligence. CropIn is engaging in a multi-disciplinary approach towards AI, Earth Observation, Agriculture, Meteorology, and Computer Sciences, all collaborating to bring meaningful insight to improve the ag-ecosystem and impact the livelihood of a farmer. </p><p>CropIn provides SaaS solutions to agribusinesses, governments, and non-government organizations present in over 52+ countries. CropIn thus enables businesses to leverage technology to effectively drive their initiatives around Digitization, Compliance, Predictability, Sustainability, and Traceability. CropIn's product suite enables data-driven farming by connecting all the stakeholders in the Ag-ecosystem. The portfolio of CropIn has products targeted towards different ecosystem players. </p><ol><li>SmartRisk, a predictive and prescriptive business intelligence solution that leverages agri-alternate data for effective credit risk assessment and loan recovery assistance. </li><li>SmartFarm, a digital farming technology product that drives digital strategy and provides complete visibility of resources, processes, and performance on the field.</li><li>mWarehouse, a comprehensive packhouse solution that enables farm-to-fork traceability, and compliance.</li><li>AcreSquare, a farmer application that helps companies interact directly with their farmers, share content, educate them, and provide consultation.</li></ol><p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://kradminasset.s3.ap-south-1.amazonaws.com/ExpertViews/deepak+4.png" /></p><p>Image from CropIn Website. © 2021 CropIn Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved.</p><p><strong>Agrosmart</strong></p><p>Agrosmart uses big data and analytics to help farmers increase the efficiency and sustainability of their operations across a diverse range of crops — grains, coffee, sugar cane, cotton, and fruits. It captures data from different sources, including soil sensors, drones, and satellite images to generate intelligent agronomic models based on the genetic material, soil type, and microclimate of each field.</p><p>Agrosmart's software as a service platform analyzes this raw data and then uses machine learning algorithms to make recommendations on everything from seed placement to climate modeling. The end result is savings of up to 60% water and 20% energy. </p><p>Agrosmart not only serves farmers but also corporate clients that use the platform to monitor and benchmark the sustainability of their supply chains, provide transparency to their clients, and understand the climate risks associated with their businesses. </p><p>Agrosmart is constantly adding to its technology stack and deploys new features quickly. From IoT to AI and blockchain, Agrosmart uses state-of-the-art technologies to solve customers’ problems and, acknowledge the ever-changing nature of customers’ needs. </p><p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://kradminasset.s3.ap-south-1.amazonaws.com/ExpertViews/deepak+5.png" /></p><p>Image from Agrosmart Website. © 2021 Agrosmart. All Rights Reserved.</p><p><strong>itk</strong></p><p>itk is a Deep AgTech company focused on developing tools for tomorrow's agriculture today. It is enabling easy-to-use, efficient, and useful decision-making technologies that connect scientific research with production agriculture, and allied industries to drive value to farmers and all players of the food system value chain.</p><p>itk has created process-driven AI models applied to both crop and animal production. Those models are imbedded in its SAAS platform and target, growers/ breeders and their consultants to help them make tactical and strategic decisions on their daily practices to maximize their return on investment while gaining time, insurances to predict yield volatility and help them anticipate compensations, food processing companies to secure their supplies, and traders to predict yield volatility and help them manage their risk.</p><p> itk licenses access to its platform to farming corporations and farmers alike to empower them and to allow them to provide better insights and anticipations in support of farmland economics. Services provided by itk's clients can include the prescription to farmers, production previsions, risks assessment, risk anticipation, and land price estimation to name a few.</p><p>Depending on the services provided and the expected insights delivered by the platform the input data will be either provided by: itk (i.e., weather data, soil data, satellite images, etc.), itk’s clients through API between their information system and itk’s Platform; and farmers through web/mobile application and itk’s platform. All this data is easily accessible and easy to gather, and even can be directly uploaded from sensors to the platform using the itk’s IoT services. itk’s AI platform covers 60% of the crop production needs i.e., row crops, orchards, fruits & vegetables, pasture, and animal production needs i.e., dairy, beef, sheep. itk has almost 40% of its team having PhDs and 55% of the team having Masters/Engineering Degree.</p><p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://kradminasset.s3.ap-south-1.amazonaws.com/ExpertViews/deepak+6.png" /></p><p>Image from itk Website. © 2021 itk. All Rights Reserved.</p><p><strong>Microsoft Azure FarmBeats</strong></p><p>Microsoft Azure FarmBeats is a business-to-business offering available in Azure Marketplace. It enables the aggregation of agriculture data sets across providers. Azure FarmBeats enable users to build artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML) models based on fused data sets. By using Azure FarmBeats, agriculture businesses can focus on core value-adds instead of the undifferentiated heavy lifting of data engineering.</p><p>Azure FarmBeats users can:</p><ul><li>Assess farm health using vegetation index and water index based on satellite imagery.</li><li>Get recommendations on how many soil moisture sensors to use and where to place them.</li><li>Track farm conditions by visualizing ground data collected by sensors from various vendors.</li><li>Get soil moisture map based on the fusion of satellite and sensor data.</li><li>Gain actionable insights by building AI/ML models on top of aggregated datasets.</li><li>Build or augment your digital agriculture solution by providing farm health advisories.</li></ul><p>Data, coupled with the farmer’s knowledge and intuition about his or her farm, can help increase farm productivity, and also help reduce costs. Although technology could help the farmer, its adoption is limited because the farms usually do not have power or Internet connectivity, and the farmers are typically not technology savvy. Microsoft FarmBeat team is working towards an end-to-end approach, from sensors to the cloud, to solve the problem. The goal for FarmBeats is to enable data-driven farming. As part of the FarmBeats project, the team is building several unique solutions to solve these problems using low-cost sensors, drones, and vision and machine learning algorithms.</p><p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://kradminasset.s3.ap-south-1.amazonaws.com/ExpertViews/deepak+7.png" /></p><p>Image from Microsoft Website. © 2021 Microsoft. All Rights Reserved</p><p> </p>
KR Expert - Deepak Pareek
Chief Executive Officer at Agriwatch | Former Managing Partner & Chief Consultant at HnyB Tech-Incubations Pvt Ltd.