The Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence announced a US$1m grant from Google to develop AI-based solutions for agriculture. The institute will use the grant to develop AI-powered tools that would give farmers rapid, accurate, and localized weather, crop, and other farm-related information while also enhancing the effectiveness and capabilities of India’s agriculture knowledge systems.
Google India’s Research Director, Manish Gupta, highlighted that over half the Indian population relies on the agricultural sector for their livelihood. However, the sector is further away from technological development that can lead to “pervasive benefits.”
He added, “We’re therefore happy to announce a new 1 million dollar grant to Wadhwani AI via Google.org to support their deployment of AI-based solutions to improve agricultural outcomes.” Creating more tech-driven solutions can help harness India’s agriculture dividend due to different terrains.
Small farmers rely largely on government and nonprofit organizations for guidance on what to do at each stage of the crop cycle. Shekar Sivasubramanian, CEO of Wadhwani AI, said that the company’s solutions ensure that all communities and farmers can meaningfully work with them through the government’s support.
He added, “It [the grant] will help us to identify and address multiple challenges affecting agriculture in India through the use of timely and effective AI-based interventions.”