Self-learning Algos Could Help Farmers Diagnose Plant Diseases and Damages Instantaneously

An application based on artificial intelligence and machine learning developed by a bunch of young Germans fresh out of university could disrupt call centres providing ‘agvisory’ services and perhaps even enhance them. But first let me take you to one such call centre set up by a multinational corporation which is in the seeds and weedicide business. It is mid-morning. Lalan’s tomato crop has been afflicted by early blight. The farmer from Madhya Pradesh’s Satna district calls a number. It is picked up by an adviser at a highrise in Malad, a Mumbai suburb. Lalan complains he has applied copper oxychloride without effect. The adviser asks him whether he has sprayed the plant on both sides. He suggests mancozeb, a fungicide, instead. The farmer says the fix is effective but…


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