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NIC, Spices Board to use AI to deal with Cardamom Diseases in Sikkim

NIC, Spices Board to use AI to deal with Cardamom Diseases in Sikkim


NIC, Spices Board to use AI to deal with Cardamom Diseases in Sikkim

NIC, Spices Board to use AI to deal with Cardamom Diseases in Sikkim

In a groundbreaking initiative to bolster the agricultural sector, the National Informatics Centre (NIC), under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, and the Spices Board, under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the “Development and Deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Aided Tools for Detection and Classification of Large Cardamom Diseases.” This collaboration aims to revolutionize the way cardamom diseases are detected and managed, leveraging the power of AI to enhance productivity and efficiency in cardamom farming in Sikkim.

AI Integration for Agricultural Advancement

Through its Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence (CoE-AI) in Kolkata, the NIC has developed a proof of concept for detecting various diseases in cardamom leaves using advanced AI-based models. This initiative underscores the potential of integrating AI solutions with e-Governance applications, marking a significant stride towards modernizing the agricultural sector.

The Spices Board will provide the NIC with a comprehensive image dataset depicting healthy and diseased large cardamom leaves. These images will be meticulously processed at NIC’s AI lab in Kolkata to train and refine AI tools capable of accurately identifying diseased cardamom leaves. This AI-driven approach will significantly enhance disease management practices, leading to healthier crops and increased yields.

Formalizing the Partnership

The MoU was officially signed by Mrs. Sanhita Bhattacharjee, Scientist F and Additional State Informatics Officer, West Bengal, representing NIC, and Dr. A.B. Rema Shree, Director (Research & Finance) from the Spices Board. The signing ceremony was a well-attended event, with notable participants including Dr L.P. Sharma, State Informatics Officer (Sikkim), and his team from NIC Sikkim, alongside officials from the Spices Board, Indian Cardamom Research Institute (ICRI), NIC, who joined virtually. The collaboration was initiated under the expert guidance of Mrs. Shermishta Sengupta, Deputy Director General of NIC.

A Collaborative Effort for Future Readiness

Over the past three months, NIC Sikkim, the Spices Board, and NIC Kolkata have been engaged in extensive discussions to finalize this MoU. This collaboration represents a significant milestone in the efforts to leverage AI technology to advance large cardamom farming in Sikkim. The integration of AI tools is anticipated to provide farmers with precise and timely information about the health of their crops, enabling them to take proactive measures to manage diseases effectively.

Dr. A.B. Rema Shree, Director (Research & Finance) from the Spices Board, expressed optimism about the collaboration, stating, “The partnership with NIC marks a new era in agricultural management. By harnessing AI technology, we aim to provide our farmers with cutting-edge tools to improve crop health and productivity. This initiative aligns with our commitment to fostering innovation and supporting the agricultural community.”

Enhancing Agricultural Productivity

Cardamom farming is a vital component of Sikkim’s agricultural landscape, and the introduction of AI-driven disease detection tools is expected to have a transformative impact. By providing farmers with accurate diagnostics and actionable insights, the initiative aims to reduce crop losses and improve overall farm management practices.

Mrs. Sanhita Bhattacharjee highlighted the importance of this project, stating, “The collaboration with the Spices Board is a testament to NIC’s commitment to leveraging technology for societal benefit. Our AI-based models have the potential to significantly enhance the efficiency of disease detection in cardamom farming, leading to better outcomes for farmers and the agricultural sector as a whole.”

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