An Andhra Pradesh project to collect very specific climate data from farms and give farmers personalised information through SMS has won the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) 2016 prize in the e-Agriculture category.
International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Secretary-General Houlin Zhao announced the prize on 3rd May in Geneva. The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) in Hyderabad developed the project, which is having a pilot run in Anantpur district. WSIS said the organisation had an e-strategy for implementing it at the national level.
“The WSIS Prizes recognize all players in the effort to improve global connectivity, from governments and global ICT (information communication technology) companies to grassroots NGOs leading innovative ICT-oriented projects at the local level.” Zhao said.
A total of 18 prizes were awarded in categories ranging from international cooperation to information ethics. The prize in the e-Agriculture category was the only one won by an Indian organisation.
The project, Harmonized Information of Agriculture, Revenue and Irrigation for a Transformation Agenda- Precision Technology for Agriculture or HARITA-PRIYA, uses wireless sensor networks (WSN) to collect micro-climate information from farms, according to WSIS.
This data is used to create advisories and alerts on irrigation schedules and pests and plant disease. Based on them state agriculture officers send out personalised crop advisories in Telugu to farmers by SMS. The Andhra Pradesh government, the Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA), the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) station and the Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University in Anantapur partnered in the project.