AI, machine learning, automation present new face of plantation sector

Published - January 21, 2024 07:14 pm IST - KOCHI

From advanced methods of pesticide spraying to the finer points in factory management, a revolution in technology defines the daily operations of the new-age plantation sector.

An exhibition on latest technology applications in the sector organised as part of the plantation summit in Kochi showed that it was time Kerala plantations embraced the new developments to ensure sustainability and growth of the sector. The plantations, which began in the State in the late 19th century, was thoroughly mechanised at present with an influx of start-ups, said Industries and Commerce department Director S. Harikishore, who is Special Officer, Plantation. “As technological equipment leads to decreased cost of production, more planters are going for mechanisation,” he added.

As many as 166 stalls by 120 entrepreneurs are open for the public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the expo organised by the Plantation Directorate.

Drones, which are integral to spraying pesticides, find major representation at the expo. The drones are of both private and governmental companies besides that of entities such as Campco (Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Co-operative Limited). Campco, where both Kerala and Karnataka governments have a stake, has its drones being marketed by Fuselage Innovations at the Maker Village in Kalamassery.

Another star presence is drip irrigation, which operates on the basis of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. Also on display are equipment based on the famed Israeli irrigation system. The specimen facilitates watering of crops in farms as big as 100 acres to small kitchen gardens at the domestic level. The advanced among them can be operated with the help of mobile phones. The expo also features fully-automated administrative operations of farms, procurement of products and data on labour.

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