The 43rd Vice Chancellors’ Convention of Indian Agricultural Universities’ Association (IAUA) on the theme ‘Artificial Intelligence for Smart Agriculture’ concluded at Punjab Agricultural University here today. The convention was organized keeping in view the emerging need of giving new and innovative directions of applying artificial intelligence to the field of agriculture. The Vice Chancellors of State Agricultural Universities, Central Agricultural Universities and Deemed Universities of India, experts from IIT and IARI shared their knowledge and expertise to give an overview of how relating agriculture to artificial intelligence can be an instrumental and a revolutionary step.
The plenary session was chaired by Dr N. C. Patel, Vice Chancellor, Anand Agricultural University, Gujrat and President of IAUA. He highlighted in his discourse that farming is on the cusp of a major change and it will be transformed by data science and artificial intelligence. The revolutionary change will help the farming community at large to get the most from every acre.He also stressed upon the need to train the youth to make use of the new and innovative techniques.Introduction of certificate and diploma courses in AI in agricultural universities requires a serious contemplation, he suggested.
Dr A S Nanda, Vice Chancellor, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, co-chaired the plenary session. He delved into the need to implement strategic planning for achieving the desired goal of applying AI to agriculture. He opined that the Universities must work in collaborations with the industry to make the technologies cost-effective.
Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice Chancellor, PAU, emphasized that the time for action in the field of agricultural artificial intelligence has arrived. He expatiated that technologies like machine learning, image recognition and predictive modeling if applied to agriculture can boost productivity and efficiency.He further mentioned that these approaches could be important steps in the effort to produce more food for a growing population by helping farmers reduce chemical inputs, detect diseases sooner, buffer against labour shortages and respond to weather conditions as the climate changes. Towards the end, he expressed his gratitude towards IAUA for entrusting the responsibility of the convention to PAU. He also thanked the Vice Chancellors of various universities of India and the participating experts for their erudite and innovative deliberations. He also thanked them for sharing their valuable inputs during the technical sessions.
The reports of the technical sessions held on February 11 & February 12, were presented in order to apprise the gathering of the ideas shared by experts on wide-ranging subjects such as Sensor based technologies for precision agriculture and advanced farming systems, Application of big data management tools in agriculture, Robotics and UMV technologies in farm and food sector, IT Tools for Predictive Analytics in Crop, Livestock and Fisheries and Policy interventions for promoting Artificial Intelligence in Indian Agriculture.