Sagri, a Japan-based satellite technology services provider in strategic partnership with Lawrencedale Agro Processing India (LEAF), India’s leading agritech major, has joined a landmark project opportunity from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to improve the livelihoods of small and marginal farmers in India.
JICA, directly under the Japanese government, is one of the world’s largest bilateral aid agencies, supporting the resolution of issues in developing countries through a flexible combination of various types of assistance methods.
The Sagri-LEAF consortium, to start with, will deploy impactful agritech solutions for the digital transformation of the small and marginal farmers in the north-Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The programme, targeting a small area as a pilot, will be subsequently rolled-out to wider regions in Himachal Pradesh.
Satoshi Nagata, CEO, Sagri India said, “JICA is actively supporting the development of the agriculture ecosystem in India. We are delighted to work with JICA and LEAF to harness the vast amount of data beamed from satellites. Since satellite data can be obtained over a wide area and in a homogeneous manner, its usefulness is expected. However, on the other hand, it is difficult for end-users to directly utilise satellite data. It is this gap that Sagri-LEAF partnership will address and provide information appropriately.”
The Sagri-LEAF consortium will engage with the Himachal Pradesh government to bring in proactive actionable data which can predict the quality and yield of the produce.
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Himachal Pradesh is predominately an agricultural state where agriculture provides direct employment to about 71 per cent of the total population. The agriculture sector contributes nearly 30 per cent of the total state domestic product. The Himachal Pradesh government has been implementing various developmental programmes and disseminating the relevant technology to increase productivity, production and profitability of field crops.
Highlighting the collaboration, said Palat Vijayaraghavan, Founder & CEO, Lawrencedale Agro Processing India, said, “We have positively impacted millions of small and marginal farmers with relevant and impact-led technology solutions. The Sagri-LEAF partnership, by leveraging the strategic funding by JICA, will deploy Satellite Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning solutions to predict harvest yields, improve nutrition content and work on diversification of crops to mitigate the risks. The proprietary platform builds on analysing satellite data using AI technology and by letting AI learn the characteristics of satellite data of various states on the ground, it will create a state in which AI can make predictions.”
“When we can leverage technology and bring in such transparency, our teams can intervene to walk with the farmers to improve quality and the quantity of the harvest. This solves multiple challenges for the agriculture ecosystem offering them confidence and transparency enabling multiple services such access to organised farm credit and farm insurance,” elaborated Vijayaraghavan.