Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today announced that the HPE Center of Excellence (CoE) for IoT-based agriculture in Gudipalli, Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh, has generated significant benefits for local farmers by enabling them to increase crop yields, nutritional value, and revenue from their products by applying technology. The CoE announced in July last year, was designed and implemented by HPE Pointnext Services Global Customer Solution Center, Bengaluru.
The CoE is focused on upskilling students in areas of the Internet of Things (IoT) and programming to improve their employment prospects and also supports local farmers to help them achieve higher food production from finite land resources. As part of this initiative, students from nearby colleges have had the opportunity to work with IoT experts from the HPE Pointnext Services Global Center and certified agronomists on edge-to-cloud technology.
“Our endeavor has always been to encourage differentiated learning experiences and we are proud to offer these through this CoE in partnership with HPE. The artificial intelligence and machine-learning work achieved as part of this initiative have immensely helped the local students and farming community,” said Ramji Raghavan, Founder, and Chairman, Agastya International Foundation.
The solutions included edge compute (HPE Edgeline EL300), onsite IoT modules, drone imaging and analysis, a user interface, and dashboard for monitoring and reporting of various on-ground parameters and activities in the fields. Images from drones and satellites are used to plot NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) to demonstrate how it can be applied when scaled to larger farms.
The technology and deep learning analytics were deployed to improve the farmers’ decision-making capabilities by providing them visibility into the current conditions of soil and by modeling possible future trends. By working with the students, the farmers were prescribed the amount of water to be released and the type of manure to select using nine different metrics such as values of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium (NPK), soil moisture, leaf wetness, acidic value, soil temperature and soil humidity captured by the IoT modules. This ensured the irrigation on the fields was based on scientific recommendations and the correct manure and fertilizer were used according to the soil type and weather conditions. The machine learning algorithms were used to test the soil conditions resulting in approximately 40 percent savings in water consumption when compared to traditional methods.
The CoE also helped the farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown by enabling them to remotely monitor the crops and make decisions related to irrigation, soil treatment, nutrition, and harvesting without the need to visit the fields.
“As technology has the potential to increase the efficiency, quality, and sustainability of agriculture across the country, we are enabling farmers to access the requisite digital tools, which can help them make informed decisions,” said Sanjay Mujoo, VP, HPE Pointnext Services. “By enabling farmers to increase crop yields, nutritional value, and therefore also revenue from their produce, the CoE reinforces our commitment to advance the way people live and work.”
The CoE, which currently covers 2.5 acres of land, will continue to assist the farmers as the sowing season approaches. With the early success of this initiative, HPE intends to scale the CoE to help address additional challenges.