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ITU/FAO Workshop Hosted By TEC & ICAR Successfully Concludes

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ITU/FAO Workshop Hosted By TEC & ICAR Successfully Concludes

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The workshop on “Cultivating tomorrow: Advancing digital agriculture through IoT and AI”, concluded on March 18, 2024 with participation 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 held wide-ranging discussions delving into the applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and other cutting-edge technologies across the agricultural value chain. Topics ranged from production to consumption, including post-harvest management and marketing. Participants explored how these technologies can empower farmers with real-time data, predictive analytics, and actionable insights, thereby addressing the challenges posed by global population growth and climate change to traditional farming practices.

During the Workshop, the Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC), Department of Telecommunications (DoT), in collaboration with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, have also jointly released a Technical Report on “Revolutionizing Agriculture: The Digital Transformation of Farming”. The report will serve as a good reference for stakeholders across the agricultural sector, guiding decision-makers on harnessing the power of technology to drive sustainability, efficiency, and resilience in food production.

{For further information and access to the Technical Report, please visit TEC website (https://www.tec.gov.in/) and ICAR website (https://www.icar.org.in).}

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

Shri Ajay Kumar Sahu, Member (Services) & Additional Secretary (T), DoT highlighted the pivotal role of telecommunications in advancing digital agriculture and bridging the rural-urban digital gap. India aims to empower farmers with digital connectivity, innovative tools, and real-time market access, fostering inclusive growth and sustainable development in the agricultural sector, he added.

Mr Seizo Onoe, Director of Standardisation at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), highlighted India’s increased engagement with ITU and the importance of building bridges between different areas of expertise to develop impactful international standards for digital agriculture.

Ms Tripti Saxena, Sr. DDG & Head, TEC emphasized the potential of technologies like IoT and AI to revolutionize agriculture. She outlined that by leveraging emerging technologies and IoT solutions like sensors and drones, farmers can monitor soil conditions, optimize resource utilization, and maximize crop yields, paving the way for a sustainable and productive future in agriculture.

Dr S K Chaudhari, DDG (NRM), ICAR emphasized the significance of the workshop for Indian agricultural research, aligning with ICAR’s centenary and this year’s focus on digital technology, aiming to advance the agricultural sector through IoT and AI.

The workshop was followed by inauguration of the exhibition area. Exhibition stalls, facilitated by ICAR, showcased the real time applications of emerging technologies by various start-ups in the agricultural domain.

Around 250 delegates, including representatives from ITU Member States, Sector Members, Associates, ITU Academia, as well as individuals from ITU member countries along with members of international, regional, and national organizations from various countries participated in-person as well as virtually, exchanging valuable insights and experiences in the rapidly evolving field of Agriculture 4.0.

Field visit to the IoT and sensor operated Greenhouse Vertical Farm, Plant Phenomics Centre and Internet of Drones demonstration provided invaluable insights into the innovative technologies shaping the future of agriculture. From witnessing vertical farming techniques maximizing space efficiency to experiencing the transformative potential of drone technology in crop monitoring and management, delegates gained a deeper understanding of how these advancements can revolutionize farming practices.

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