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Wadhwani AI Receives $3.3 Million Grant To Use Tech To Protect Food Crops

By PTI October 23, 2023

Wadhwani AI to develop two language model-based apps that incorporate verified sources such as agricultural research and government schemes

Wadhwani AI Receives $3.3 Million Grant To Use Tech To Protect Food Crops
Cotton Ace app, supported by Google.org, has already increased farmers' profits by 20% and reduced pesticide expenses by 25%. Shutterstock
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The Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence (Wadhwani AI) announced on Friday that it has received a grant of USD 3.3 million (approximately Rs 27.42 crore) from Google.org for a project focused on safeguarding staple food crops using pest mitigation technology.

Wadhwani AI has already developed a solution, exemplified by the Cotton Ace app, which has proven effective in enhancing crop productivity and farmer incomes. This app uses images uploaded by farmers to identify pests, offer data-driven solutions to combat crop damage, and provide farmers with updated information on weather, agricultural practices, and crop prices.

Shekar Sivasubramanian, CEO of Wadhwani AI, expressed the organization's commitment to leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance efficiency and production in the Indian agricultural sector.

He shared that the Cotton Ace app, supported by Google.org, has already increased farmers' profits by 20% and reduced pesticide expenses by 25%. The newly received grant will enable the expansion of their technology to protect staple crops such as rice, wheat, and corn.

Wadhwani AI is among the 15 organizations worldwide selected to receive support from Google.org's philanthropic challenge, which involves a total of USD 25 million. This initiative aims to fund projects that use AI to accelerate progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Annie Lewin, Senior Director of Global Advocacy and Head of Asia Pacific at Google.org, emphasized that the grant aligns with Google's commitment to support real-world applications of the latest AI and technological advancements to ensure the sustenance of entire nations.

Wadhwani AI will also develop two language model-based apps that incorporate verified sources, such as agricultural research and government schemes. These apps will be integrated into the PM Kisan chatbot and Kisan Call Centers, providing features like text-to-speech, speech-to-text, and translation for Indian languages.

This will make it easier for people to access information using voice commands in multiple languages.

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