Generative AI Can Take Agriculture to the Next Level

AI in Agriculture: Innovative Opportunities to Cultivate the Future - Fresh Consulting

The agriculture sector is the most primitive when it comes to using technology. But Gen AI is going to change that big time. In a short chat with Santhosh Jayaram, Head Sustainability, HCL Tech, on the sidelines of the recent World Economic Forum, Ranveer Chandra, MD, Research for Industry and CTO Agri-Food, said that AI has the potential to revolutionize agriculture and help Sustainability become more transparent.

As the CTO of Agri-Food at Microsoft, Ranveer is working on making FarmBeats a product. He also works on Azure Data Manager for Agriculture, a platform that leverages cloud computing and AI to enable data-driven farming. Ranveer has established himself as a visionary and an influential leader in the fields of technology, AI, and agri-food. Edited excerpts:

AI for agriculture

Agriculture is one of the most tech-primitive industry so far. The value AI can bring will be immense. For example, AI can help look at not just the quality of soil on the surface but also the quality of soil around the roots. Multi-modal AI – will be the future.

Weather prediction at the micro-climate scale will help farmers take right decisions. It can help them manage their resources better.

One of the biggest challenges techies face is how can we take all the data insights they generate to farmers. That is where generative AI can be a step forward. Farmers, even if they are not highly literate, can talk to an AI agent and get all the information and insights they want.

At the World Economic Forum council on food and water security Ranveer and his team were thinking of ways of using AI in addressing the food and water security problems in agriculture around the world.

Despite all the advances, we are still at the early stages, but the future potential is immense. This challenge has been intensified by climate change and geopolitical conflicts. The consensus among the participants was clear: while AI is not a panacea, it is a powerful enabler in our quest to address food security and build more resilient food systems. 

How Will AI Help Sustainability

AI will enhance transparency about data shared like how much water was consumed and where a crop was grown. Now, this info is not readily available.

The bigger contribution will be to help farmers predict the future outcomes thereby helping them make more informed decisions.

AI for science – people were so far limited by simulations. Now, AI lets you do these things much faster. For example, recently, AI was able to evaluate 32 million materials in a matter of a few hours. This would take a lifetime otherwise.

We are very bullish about AI’s contribution to sustainability like measuring  and verification.


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