NEC Laboratories, TNAU team up detect crop diseases using AI, machine learning

NEC Laboratories India senior vice-president and head Keiji Yamada, TNAU Registrar, and acting vice- chancellor A S Krishnamoorthy and senior officials of the Centre for Plant Protection Studies were present during the signing of the MoU.
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University

NEC Laboratories, an entity of NEC Corporation India, on Wednesday said it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) to offer solutions for early detection of diseases in crop using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

Under the MoU, NEC aims to help identify the disease and deficiency categories, and provide remedies through agricultural experts, a statement said.

NEC would develop a mobile application with artificial intelligence while TNAU would provide expert guidance and assist in data collection to detect the diseases. By combining the best of both, early detection of disease onset through artificial intelligence and machine learning can be achieved enabling farmers to take remedial measures.

According to United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation, farmers globally lose 40 per cent of their crops to insects and diseases every year.

In India, the agriculture industry faces various issues, including crop loss of 30-60 per cent. Primary reasons for the loss include diseases (15-25 per cent), soil nutrient deficiency (36.5 per cent), insects and pests that reducing crop yield by 10-40 per cent.

The on-site solution helps farmers increase the yield, minimise crop loss by recognising the diseases at an early stage, providing an efficient and immediate advisory system besides monitoring on what to do to maintain crop health, the statement said.

NEC Laboratories India senior vice-president and head Keiji Yamada, TNAU Registrar, and acting vice- chancellor A S Krishnamoorthy and senior officials of the Centre for Plant Protection Studies were present during the signing of the MoU.

''We are proud to be partnering with TNAU in new ways of applying AI and analytics to resolve crucial issues in agriculture in real-time. This partnership is critical and timely because, apart from being an agricultural society at large, India is also one of the largest food producers in the world,'' Yamada said.

India's importance in the global food supply chain necessitates the deployment of immediate and effective measures that can anticipate and address challenges ahead of time, he added.

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