Hack4farming explores digital solutions to India’s agricultural issues

Hyderabad, May 13 (IANS) Over 100 researchers, data analysts, computer programmers, developers and other stakeholders came together at two-day hackathon Hack4farming, to explore digital solutions to address agricultural development issues in India.

Hack4Farming, which concluded Friday, was held at the headquarters of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) here with support from Microsoft, the US-based agriculture information firm aWhere and T-Hub, Hyderabad.

Team DARe – Digital Agri Rural e-Marketing, won the prize of $2,000 with their innovative model chosen by judges for the cloud-based application that will help connect large number of smallholder farmers with multiple buyers leading to minimise the middleman’s margins and farmers’ transactions cost.

It will help in real-time price discovery using current e-mandi price, recent price trends, variety, and other quality parameters. The application will also provide farmers’ location specific weather forecasts and information on technology providers in their locality.

The team also won the opportunity to get business and sector specific mentorship services with the startup incubator T-Hub to develop their idea into a viable business or product.

Hack4Farming Hyderabad focused on weather, systems modelling, and their potential impacts on the Indian agriculture sector. Teams explored how to leverage new modeling techniques (from ICRISAT researchers), weather data (from aWhere) and Intelligent Cloud (from Microsoft) to address these information gaps, and benefit agriculture stakeholders such as seed producers, service providers, and farmers across India.

“The two-day hackathon had mentors from Microsoft to guide participants in their quest to build solutions using intelligent cloud technology including Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and Power BI to support farmers. The hackathon has highlighted that technology, when harnessed correctly, has the potential to transform lives and have a major socio-economic impact,” said Microsoft India R&D managing director Anil Bhansali.

“Digital technology such as cloud computing and mobile phones provide an important platform for youth to see agriculture as a viable business. These tools will also help us manage natural resources and support a modern food system that delivers safe and nutritious food to all consumers,” said ICRISAT Director General David Bergvinson.



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