XIII Agri Science Congress — ICT NEXT- Climate Smart Agri-Tech Panel Discussion
I was invited as a panelist for the panel discussion on “ICT next: Climate Smart Agri -Tech” as part of 13th Agri Science Congress that was held at University of Agriculture Science, Bangalore last Thursday. I’m writing this post to share my experience in this event.
The aim of the organizers of this particular panel discussion was to bring people from the information technology(IT), internet of things (IoT) and agriculture into one platform. We had senior people from Microsoft, Robert Bosch and TCS, who spoke about the technologies that their respective firms have developed for agri market. We had government organizations which are working on disaster management using weather forecasting also in the panel. We had a couple of Agri experts who are already using latest technologies and we also had people from two startups, which includes me, talk about the IoT solutions for Agriculture at the event. The discussion was fairly well balanced with both opportunities and challenges in adopting latest technologies — Thanks to the chair, Dr. Raghu Hudli, for moderating the discussion.
I spoke about three projects that I was involved in the past pertaining to Agriculture. I spent more time talking about the solar powered irrigation system using soil moisture and weather data that we (FluxGen) had executed in collaboration with an Agri scientist a couple of years back. I also spoke about the sensor monitoring system that we had developed for polyhouses in the very same campus (GKVK). I learnt new trends in smart agriculture from other speakers, however the key takeaway from the event was actually getting to know the panelists before and after the panel discussion. Before the panel discussion, I had a very interesting discussion with Mr.Prasenjit Mukherjee of Microsoft and Dr. Navin Kumar Twarakavi of TCS on Data Science and Machine Learning. Both of them enlightened me about various aspects one has to look into before building a data driven systems. After the panel discussion, I had a very interesting discussion with Mr. Rajendra Nath Goswami of Robert Bosch about the sensors they (Bosch) had developed for Agri market, like wise he was also interested in our offering in smart solar power system and weather sensor for agriculture. We all had lunch together at the venue before we split. I went to the Agri exhibition area before leaving the campus.
After coming back from the Agri Science Congress I wrote a thank you mail to all the panelists and organizers for sharing their knowledge and giving me an opportunity respectively. I also expressed interest in offering a course on Agri IoT (hopefully at IISc) with their support, as guest speakers. To my surprise the organizer of the panel discussion, Mr.Ashok Kumar Meda, alumni of University of Agriculture Science, immediately wrote back saying he was very interested in the idea and will be keen on supporting it.
I must say, I’m quite excited about the prospects ahead. It will be utterly rude if I don’t thank Mr.Venkatesh Kumaran (Venki)of IESA for introducing me to Ashok for the panel discussion, despite my limited exposure to Agri domain. Thanks Venki — you have always been generous in promoting me!
More to come in the future, write to me if you are keen on knowing more about the event — will be happy to share.