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Smart Agri Project: Vodafone Idea’s CSR arm ties up with Nokia to deploy smart Agri solution

To deploy a Smart-Agri solution in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, Vodafone Idea’s (Vi) CSR arm, Vodafone India Foundation, tied up with Finnish telecom gear maker Nokia in order to boost the productivity of farmers.

This pilot project is being executed across 100 cities in the states and will benefit more than 50,000 peasants in the region.

“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.

It should be mentioned here that the SmartAgri project aims to improve the lives of small-scale farmers through the deployment of IoT solutions, sustainable farming practices and improving their access to information using cutting-edge technology.

This project assumes importance like climate change, global warming, decreasing soil fertility among others remain an obstacle in the path of enhancing farmers’ productivity.

However, technology can play an indispensable role in boosting 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 growth cycles.

“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 P. Balaji, Chief Regulatory & Corporate Affairs Officer, Vodafone Idea Limited.

As part of this project, around 400 sensors have been deployed over 100,000 hectares of agri-land to gather data which is then analyzed by a cloud-based smart agriculture app. Notably, the app provides local language support, weather forecast and irrigation management information as well.

“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,” said Ankur Bhan, Head of Nokia WING Business, at Nokia, adding the smart agriculture is a leading use case that India is exploring in the 5G era.

“We see a growing demand for new technologies that increase productivity and yields in the agricultural sector while mitigating the impacts of climate change,” said Michele Mackenzie, Principal Analyst, IoT and M2M Services at Analysys Mason.