U.S. based networking giant Cisco will build a smart farming ecosystem in the Indian state of Kerala.
Under the memorandum of understanding which was signed between Cisco and Kerala State IT Mission (KSITM), the U.S. company will provide digital technology and data science to the farming communities in the state.
Apart from KSITM, the program will be supported by MIZONE (Malabar Innovation Zone), Government College of Engineering, Kannur, Department of Agriculture, Department of Fisheries and local panchayats (village councils) with Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO’s).
Kerala is looking to implement this in all 14 districts that have 941 panchayats. However, this will be implemented initially in 15 panchayats across the Kannur district and then across the states in the years to come.
Farmers to get e-learning, advisory services
Cisco will build an Agri-Digital Infrastructure (ADI) platform and set up village knowledge centres (VKCs) for knowledge delivery and provide access to e-learning and advisory services to the farming communities in Kannur.
Speaking on this, Cisco’s public affairs and strategic engagements managing director Harish Krishnan said, “The impact of technology can be transformational for those who need it most, elevating standards of living and foster economic development.”
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Cisco MD (Public Affairs & Strategic Engagements) Harish Krishnan, KSITM Director Dr Chitra, Pricipal Secy OSD to CM M Sivasankar, Project Manager (Country Digitisation Acceleration Program) Suresh Reddy, IITMK Director Saji Gopinath and Cisco Vice President Vikram Kumar Mallavarapu meet Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the signing in ceremony in Thiruvananthapuram recently.
Kerala a leading adopter of digital technology
Adding further, Krishnan said that “digitisation can play a pivotal role by providing a cost-effective way to deliver information services to a large population. With Kerala today being one of the leading adopters of digital technology for agriculture, we are proud to collaborate with them on this initiative.”
ADI Platform will have IoT, real-time intelligence
Data on the ADI platform will operate on Cisco’s analytics that will also provide insights regarding crop yields, weather patterns, plant disease patterns, soil quality, moisture content, forecasting and other data. These insights will be made available to farmers and government officials through the so-called village knowledge centres.
The ADI Platform will also have a custom-built smart agricultural platform that uses Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, non-IoT databases, satellite/unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) images to gather and relay real-time intelligence on soil content, moisture, weather conditions and other parameters, the company said.
Access to government provisioned financing
Apart from this, through this data centre farmers would also be able to access essential information on government policy updates, crop advisory services, market trends, rates and best practice videos along with accessibility to government provisioned financing on a content management system through a mobile application and web portal.