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Workshop on Digital Agriculture Concludes, Emphasizing the Role of IoT and AI in Farming

New Delhi: The workshop on “Cultivating tomorrow: Advancing digital agriculture through IoT and AI” concluded with fervor, marking a significant step forward in harnessing technology for agricultural development. Organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the event was hosted by TEC (DoT) in collaboration with ICAR at the National Agricultural Science Complex (NASC), ICAR, New Delhi.

The workshop facilitated insightful discussions on the applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and other cutting-edge technologies across the agricultural value chain. Experts explored how these technologies can empower farmers with real-time data, predictive analytics, and actionable insights, addressing the challenges posed by global population growth and climate change to traditional farming practices.

A significant highlight of the workshop was the release of a Technical Report titled “Revolutionizing Agriculture: The Digital Transformation of Farming,” jointly prepared by the Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC), Department of Telecommunications (DoT), and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The report aims to guide stakeholders in the agricultural sector on harnessing technology to drive sustainability, efficiency, and resilience in food production.

Following the workshop, the Ninth Meeting of the ITU/FAO Focus Group on “Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) for Digital Agriculture” (FG-AI4A) convened at the same venue on March 19, 2024.

Ajay Kumar Sahu, Member (Services) & Additional Secretary (T), DoT, underscored the pivotal role of telecommunications in advancing digital agriculture and bridging the rural-urban digital gap. He emphasized India’s commitment to empowering farmers with digital connectivity and innovative tools for inclusive growth and sustainable development.

Seizo Onoe, Director of Standardization at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), highlighted India’s increased engagement with ITU and the importance of developing impactful international standards for digital agriculture.

Tripti Saxena, Sr. DDG & Head, TEC, emphasized the potential of IoT and AI to revolutionize agriculture, citing examples of sensors and drones for soil monitoring and resource optimization.

Dr. S K Chaudhari, DDG (NRM), ICAR, stressed the significance of the workshop for Indian agricultural research, aligning with ICAR’s centenary and this year’s focus on digital technology.

The workshop also featured an exhibition area showcasing real-time applications of emerging technologies by various startups in the agricultural domain. Around 250 delegates from ITU Member States, Sector Members, Associates, ITU Academia, and international organizations participated, exchanging valuable insights in the rapidly evolving field of Agriculture 4.0.

A field visit to IoT and sensor-operated facilities provided delegates with firsthand insights into innovative farming practices, including vertical farming techniques and drone technology for crop management, highlighting the transformative potential of technology in agriculture.

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