Technology provider TalentCloud is helping Chinese farmers use modern technologies like artificial intelligence and the internet of things (IoT) to set up more sustainable practices. Its Agro-Brain solution, which is based on Microsoft Azure, enables farmers to improve their productivity and food safety, while reducing pollution.
Through Agro-Brain, TalentCloud aims to inform farming practices with data and insights, giving farmers extra information into the status of crops and agricultural advice based on the latest science, including how to reduce pollution and their use of pesticides.
“Lack of scientific knowledge is one of the biggest reasons for food safety crises and environmental pollution,” said Xiaodong Wang, CEO of TalentCloud, in a recent Microsoft news story. “Traditionally, farmers have followed old ways without understanding the underlying science. China sends agricultural technicians to work with farmers, but there aren’t enough of them. And when in doubt, the farmers overuse chemicals.”
Agro-Brain uses Azure Machine Learning and Azure IoT services to gather millions of data points and synthesise them via machine learning. It then combines this with the lifecycle of crops, including threat information about pests and disease, to provide farmers with customised recommendations and it interacts with devices to control irrigation and other functions.
“The name ‘Agro-Brain’ perfectly captures our solution,” said Wang. “Imagine being able to share the advantage of the knowledge of millions of experts with ordinary farmers, who can now produce safer food at a lower cost because they use pesticides and fertiliser less. We’ve created that with Azure technologies, and we can use those technologies to feed that information back to scientists to increase their understanding and ultimately improve sustainability and food safety.”
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