Vodafone Idea, Nokia Deploy Smart Agriculture Solution


Vodafone Idea’s (Vi) CSR arm, Vodafone India Foundation, Monday partnered with Finnish telecoms gear maker Nokia to deploy a smart agriculture solution in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra that aims to increase the productivity of farmers.

Currently a pilot project, it is being implemented across 100 cities in the states and will benefit over 50,000 farmers in the region, as per an official statement.

“To demonstrate the impact of technology in transforming agricultural practices in India, Vi CSR chose the agri-heartlands of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, and on-boarded Nokia as the IoT solutions provider, and Solidaridad for field implementation,” the telco’s CSR arm said.

India’s telecom sector, in the efforts of enabling policies including more quantum of the spectrum, is set to establish new benchmarks in the next-generation network deployments and service delivery.

The SmartAgri project aims to enhance the lives of small-scale farmers through sustainable farming practices, deployment of IoT solutions, and improving their access to information using technology.

This project assumes significance as climate change, land scarcity, among others remain a hurdle in the way of enhancing farmers’ productivity.

However, technology can play a key role in enhancing farm yield and easing these challenges of the agriculture sector by delivering relevant information and advice to farmers such as weather forecast, soil quality, and plant growing cycles.

“Vi CSR is committed to leveraging technology strengths to create social impact through sustainable solutions..Our SmartAgri project is unique as it brings an entire ecosystem of stakeholders such as Nokia for its innovative technology, Solidaridad for project management, and also green experts and researchers from University – all under one roof, to positively impact the lives of farmers in India,” said Chief Regulatory & Corporate Affairs Officer, Vodafone Idea Limited, P. Balaji.

As part of this project, over 400 sensors have been deployed over 100,000 hectares of farmland to collect various data points which are then analyzed by a localized, cloud-based Smart Agriculture app. The app provides local language support as well as weather forecast and irrigation management information.

“Together with Vi CSR, our managed service offering will help an initial 50,000 farmers and their families, with the aim of rolling out the solution across India. Smart Agriculture is a leading use case that India is exploring in the 5G era. The complete end-to-end solution from Nokia WING is supported by deep domain expertise and an agriculture partner ecosystem,” said Head of Nokia WING Business, at Nokia, Ankur Bhan.

“We see a growing demand for new technologies that increase productivity and yields in the agricultural sector while mitigating the impacts of climate change..The cooperation between Nokia WING and Vi CSR is an innovative example for rebalancing the needs of the society and the environment by introducing sustainable farming practices in India,” said Principal Analyst, IoT and M2M Services at Analysys Mason, Michele Mackenzie.

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