JAMMU, Feb 17: Jammu and Kashmir administration will launch a sensor-based artificial intelligence pilot project on high-density apple orchards, protected cultivation, and smart livestock farming in the union Territory.
The step is aimed at incorporating technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), into agriculture to address challenges such as low efficiency, profitability and competitiveness.
J&K administration’s proposal for a sensor-based smart agriculture ecosystem can be a game-changer for the agri-economy of the region and integration of agriculture with technology can make agriculture professional and competitive.
”The proposal for sensor-based smart agriculture can be a transformative innovation for Jammu and Kashmir’s agri-economy. A sensor-based pilot study will be conducted on high-density apple orchards, protected cultivation, and smart livestock farming”, additional chief secretary (ACS) Agriculture Production Department, Atal Dulloo told PTI. Dulloo said that the incorporation of technology, particularly AI and IoT, into agriculture has the potential to address challenges such as low efficiency, profitability, and competitiveness. ”This could lead to a more attractive and professional image for the industry”, he said.
Having a total outlay of Rs 30.40 crore the project on sensor-based smart agriculture aims to integrate agriculture with technology, he said.
The objective is to increase the use of resources and improve efficiency by up to 80 per cent and automate agricultural operations with precision in HDPs of apple, vegetables, and livestock. ”The use of AI-based detection of pests and diseases using handheld sensor devices can significantly reduce the drudgery and cost of cultivation by 20 per cent,” Dulloo said.
The official said that the proposal also aims to develop algorithms for big data analytics for remote operations of IoTs and create a startup ecosystem in smart agriculture by networking with IITs and industries.
Certificate and diploma courses in AI &ML, IoT, and automation, and Blockchain technology will be launched to train skilled manpower for the new skillsets required in the industry, he said.
“The outcome of the proposal will be 50-80 per cent increase in resource use efficiency, the development of a sensor-based grading and sorting system of apple, and the development of a decision support system (DSS) for pest and disease management”, Dulloo said.
The official said that the real-time detection and variable rate spray using robotics and drones will reduce the production cost by 80 per cent. The proposal also aims to build a sensor corridor for livestock and phenotyping and yield prediction, he said.
He further said that the trained manpower, consisting of graduates, certificate and diploma holders in IOT, AI fields will form a new startup culture in the sensor-based agriculture system.
Similarly, livestock rearing is currently done in poor environmental shelter, so there is a need for a sensor-based monitoring system for shed environment and an auto-management system for tagging of animals for identification, the official said.
”Thermal and pedo-sensors based heat detection and IoT-based sensors can be used for phenotyping and health management and yield prediction of livestock. Digital transformation in agriculture is one of the potential areas to mitigate the challenge of increasing output by 60% by 2040 to match the ever-growing population”, Dulloo said.