Abstract: FarmerZone: Distributed Machine Intelligence for Indian Farmers
The impact of climate change is making traditional agriculture an increasingly risky proposition. With
India's growing population, shrinking agricultural land area and scarcity of water for irrigation, it is imperative that we increase agricultural productivity manyfold. This is possible with the introduction of precision agriculture, which requires access to diverse, real-time data.
In India, agricultural data is collected by many different agencies. It is held by many different organisations such as IMD, ISRO, State Governments, etc. Some data is online, some offline. It is not available in an accessible online repository amenable to big-data analytics. There are often cumbersome procedures for access.
To address the problems of agriculture, India's Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has introduced
FarmerZone, a cloud-based service that will collect, collate and curate data from multiple sources. With vast amounts of local and global agricultural data, including weather, market demand and pricing, production, scientific data on crops, etc advances in machine learning make it is possible to provide specific advice targeted to the needs of individual farmers.
Enterprising businesses could use the data to help farmers make the best real-time decisions to enhance their productivity. This could lead to a revival of farming as an attractive opportunity for young people. This vision is driven in part by the success of big-data technology in recent years in a plethora of areas.
In this talk, we will describe the concept of FarmerZone. We will describe some of the technical
challenges in its implementation. Finally, we will outline the FarmerZone cloud envisaged by IIT Mandi for the Himachal/Punjab region.
Short-Bio: B.Tech. (Electronics) IIT-Madras; M.S. (Electrical Engg) Rice University, Houston; Ph.D.(Electrical Engg) Stanford University, California. Joined the Department of Computer Science & Engg, I.I.T., Madras as an Assistant Professor in 1989, rose to Professor and Head of the Department.
Cofounder of the TeNeT Group of IIT-Madras, founding Director of NMSWorks Software Ltd, n-Logue Communications Ltd, Nilgiri Networks Ltd and the IIT-Madras Rural Technology Business Incubator (IITM RTBI).
Since January 2010, the first full-time Director of the Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi (Himachal Pradesh), also Professor in its School of Computing & Electrical Engineering.
Interests: design and performance of computer and telecom networks. With emphasis on innovative
and low-cost product and technology development for Indian and international industry. Fostering
software development in small towns and rural areas. Education for engineers of the future.
Led or advised the software systemInterests: design for product/technology development in telecom area.Commercially-successful products include Nova thin-clients, Grammateller Rural Automatic Teller Machine, corDECT Broadband Wireless Local Loop System, CygNet Network Management System for telecom, BlueBill telecom billing software and the LAN-T trainer kit for colleges. Sold in India and several foreign countries.