October—The 5th International Rice Congress in Singapore united professionals through collaborative sessions on the role of rice research and new technologies in tackling critical global challenges. On the list of remaining concerns, leading to the essential topic of world hunger—too many people, not enough yield—: land use, irrigation and pest and weed control.
New technologies have always played a role in advancing agriculture—think about the first agricultural tractor to be employed in the early 19th century—so could smart tech and AI be the ultimate solution? We’ve certainly come a long way from steam engines.
Over the last few years, AgTech startups have been disrupting the field of agriculture with the aspiration of increasing the quality and quantity of yields. Certain apps focus on pest and weed control, others land and water management; these companies presented their work during the IRRI conferences.
When the android mobile app Plantix by Progressive Environment Agriculture Technologies (PEAT) launched in 2016, its ability to detect rice diseases in the field earned it the World Summit Award in the Environment & Green Energy category. Earlier this year, the non-profit Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) went through its Plantwise program to partner with PEAT and conduct an 18-month pilot study that will assess the benefits of the app. Learn more here.
A whole host of smart tools exist for farmers today. The riceXpert app by India’s NRRI technologies for pest management, RiceAdvice scaling app in northern Nigeria and GrainPro recently developed it’s EcoWise remote sensoring system. EcoWise is a real-time remote monitoring system for safe storage of agricultural commodities in gas-tight flexible containers. Read more here.
In collaboration with the Odisha Department of Agriculture and the Odisha State Seed Corporation (OSSC), IRRI launched SeedCast in Odisha, India, this year as a digital innovation for seed demand estimation and strengthening of formal seed market systems of new STRVs.