Networking and IT major Cisco has entered into a partnership with the Kerala government in a bid to digitise and bring in the benefits of data science to the farming communities in the state.
Cisco said in a statement that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Kerala State IT Mission (KSITM), and the programme was in line with the long term objective of the Country Digitization Acceleration programme of the company.
According to the plan, the first phase of the initiative is set to be rolled out in 15 Panchayats across the district of Kannur. As a part of the plan Cisco will build an Agri-Digital Infrastructure (ADI) Platform and will set up Village Knowledge Centers (VKCs) to encourage knowledge delivery, along with access to e-learning and advisory services to the farming and fishing communities of Kannur.
“The impact of technology can be transformational for those who need it most, elevating standards of living and foster economic development,” said Harish Krishnan, Managing Director, Public Affairs & Strategic Engagements, Cisco.
The farmers will get access to a data store with farming data of paddy and prawns in the region along with additional databases on the land and farmer profiles. The analytics engine will then provide insights on crop yields, weather patterns, plant disease patterns, soil quality and a host of other information, the release stated.
At the heart of the Cisco ADI platform is a supplementary Smart Agricultural Platform using IoT sensors and satellite UAV images that will provide real time information related to soil content, moisture and other parameters.
Cisco said that the platform would become a centralised knowledge hub that churns out data-based insights to better agriculture planning, reduce overall operational costs and risks of crop mortality.
Through the VKCs, farmers will also be able to access updates on government policies, market trends, crop advisory services and videos on best practices. The platform will also provision financing on a mobile-based content management system.
Apart from KSITM, the programme will also be guided by the MIZONE (Malabar Innovation Zone), Government College of Engineering, Kannur, Department of Agriculture, Department of Fisheries and Local Panchayats.