With changing Monsoon patterns, sustainability of agriculture is the major concern for India today. In these tough times of dwindling Monsoons and erratic rain patterns, science and technology is the only knight in a shining armour.
Similar views were expressed by the Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the launch of a Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which will be based in Maharashtra. “Use of drones and Artificial Intelligence will change the face of agriculture,” said the CM in New Delhi.
Skymet feels proud to be part of this initiative, which has been assisting the Government of Maharashtra in improving weather forecasting and monitoring every day.
“Maharashtra Government has started a public private partnership with Skymet where now there are 2060 centers for weather stations. These weather stations are giving us real time data which we use intelligently. In fact, we have already started the listing of dissemination of information. Drones will change the face of agriculture. With our new pilot, drones will change the entire predictability of agriculture. As today, it is the sustainability of agriculture is what we are looking at, with change in weather patterns due to climate change,” said Fadnavis while addressing the event which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Apart from setting up a wide network of over 2000 Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) across Maharashtra, Skymet has also done pilot project for crop loss assessment for the state government using drones and Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML).
Addressing media, Fadnavis said, “This year, Maharashtra has been facing drought, in fact, the average rainfall has been much less but with the predictability of that and with the models of water conservation, where once again we will be using drones, we will be able to match the productivity that we had in good years. So, a lot that can be done out of this and a pilot has been done of using drones in where we mapped irrigation being done in that district and to our surprise, the area was more as we had estimated and was around 3 lakh hectares more. Again, in fact, if you look at certain models, where a farmer takes a photograph, through artificial intelligence, he gets a solution to salvage the plant and the kind of pesticides that should be used. And, to make it more economical, drones can be used to spray pesticides in the entire area.”
Use of drones and AI will definitely change the entire face of agriculture & we are excited...!
Sharing my interaction in New Delhi this afternoon, on shaping the agenda for the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in India !@wef pic.twitter.com/v1evTsPEE1
— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) October 11, 2018
Highlighting more on the importance of AI & ML, he said, “Drones will definitely change the face of agriculture. A year back, we lost about 60 percent of cotton because of pink ball worm, if we had drone technology in place and pesticides were sprayed through drones, we could have salvaged that. It is a tremendous thing which has been happening and with this centre, we have grand plans to actually have absolute predictable agriculture, to bring more sustainability, and give more market linkages to farmers.”
In collaboration with Skymet Weather Private Services Limited, Mahavedh, a project by the Government of Maharashtra, has launched a network of Automated Weather Station (AWS). These AWS are used in telling the accuracy in rain pattern, humidity and expected rainfall also including informing about the best crop for the farmers.
Skymet Weather is a leading and foremost private weather forecasting agency in India that is reckoned for its accurate and precise weather forecasting. Chaired by some of the most conversant weather forecasters, Skymet Weather has always kept its foot front in predicting and offering correct forecast to the end users.
In the recent decades, Skymet has sequentially received a comprehensive band of knowledge in the field of meteorology viz., weather forecasting and prediction, agro-meteorology, hydrometeorology, meteorological measurements, and observations. For this project, Skymet has crafted a portal for managing data and distribution so that the Government officials can get an easy access to any station data. Farmer suicide due to inaccurate weather predictions is a challenge in India and to overcome this, Skymet Weather along with the Maharashtra Government through Mahavedh took the initiative to successfully install the first out of 2065 stations.