Vodafone India Foundation, Nokia deploy smart agriculture solution in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra
Two telecom giants – Vodafone and Nokia – have begun, under their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) obligations, a pilot project of smart agricultural solution that will benefit more than 50,000 farmers across 100 locations in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Vodafone India Foundation, the CSR arm of Vodafone Idea Ltd (Vi), has concluded a partnership agreement with Nokia for this purpose of “Smart Agriculture solution” that aims at improving the productivity and income of farmers in India.
In a statement, the Vi has said that the project aims to enhance the livelihoods of small farmers through sustainable farming approaches, deployment of the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and by improving their access to information, using technology. This socially relevant project is in line with the government’s vision of inclusive growth.
“Vi CSR is committed to leveraging technology strengths to create social impact through sustainable solutions. Smart crop management using Smart IoT and AI based solutions is transforming the prevalent agricultural practices into more ‘intelligent’ ones enabling farmers with smart decision making and helping them improve production and crop quality through better utilization of resources. Our SmartAgri project is unique as it brings an entire ecosystem of stakeholders such as Nokia for its innovative technology, Solidaridad for project management, and also green experts and researchers from University – all under one roof, to positively impact the lives of farmers in India,” VIL Chief Regulatory and Corporate Affairs Officer P. Balaji said in the statement.
Vodafone Idea CSR has deployed Nokia’s Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) and has roped in Solidaridad for field implementation.
As part of this project, more than 400 sensors have been deployed over 1,00,000 hectares of farmland to collect various data points which are then analysed by a cloud-based and localised Smart Agriculture app. The app provides local language support and weather forecast and irrigation management information. The sensors generate insights that will help to improve soy and cotton crop yields.
Crop management through WING can also include smart irrigation, smart pesticide control, and proactive information sharing frameworks on crops and weather, as well as a platform for commodity exchange. The use case can also employ Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) technology or drones instead of traditional sensors for crop management.
Ankur Bhan, Head of Nokia WING Business, at Nokia, says, “Our mission for WING is to shape the future of agriculture and other industries, to create a smarter and more connected world. Together with Vi CSR, our managed service offering will help an initial 50,000 farmers and their families, with the aim of rolling out the solution across India.”
Smart Agriculture is a leading use case that India is exploring in the 5G era. The complete end-to-end solution from Nokia WING is supported by deep domain expertise and an agriculture partner eco-system.
In other words, this SmartAgri project aims to enhance the livelihoods of small farmers through sustainable farming approaches, deployment of IoT solutions and by improving their access to information, using technology.
This socially relevant project is in line with the Government’s vision of inclusive growth. It has a huge potential for replication and scale up of this technology across the country.