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Monday, January 24, 2022

Hyderabad: Techies to turn farmers, come up with solutions to farming challenges

Over the next 45 days, as many as 100 professionals will take to the fields in teams of five and work on their allocated land parcels over each weekend till they harvest their produce and market them digitally.

Written by Rahul V Pisharody | Hyderabad |
December 24, 2021 10:33:28 pm
Over the next 45 days, as many as 100 professionals will take to the fields in teams of five and work on their allocated land parcels over each weekend till they harvest their produce and market them digitally | Photo credits: Sundeep Makthala

Stressing that affordable technology could revolutionise the farming sector, a group of software professionals from Hyderabad will soon turn into farmers themselves for the next few weeks.

They will till a piece of land and sow seeds next weekend to start a short journey of experiencing real-world farming challenges to emerge with tech-enabled solutions.

They will till a piece of land and sow seeds next weekend to start a short journey of experiencing real-world farming challenges to emerge with tech-enabled solutions. | Photo credits: Sundeep Makthala

Over the next 45 days, as many as 100 professionals will take to the fields in teams of five and work on their allocated land parcels over each weekend till they harvest their produce and market them digitally.

“The ‘agriculture hackathon’ is the first-of-its-kind where techies, aided with an agriculture expert in each team, will do everything — from preparing the land to selling the produce — to understand challenges on the ground instead of asking a farmer for the same,” said Sundeep Kumar Makthala, whose Telangana Information Technology Association has announced the competition in coordination with Telangana Agriculture Engineers Association.

A 2-acre land at Yadavalli village of Utkoor Mandal in Narayanpet district has been identified for the purpose. | Photo credits: Sundeep Makthala

A 2-acre land at Yadavalli village of Utkoor Mandal in Narayanpet district has been identified for the purpose. Each team — four IT professionals and an agriculture expert — will be given 121 sq yard and challenges in the form of problem statements.

“We have opted for horticulture to start with. We are looking at the affordable application of drone cameras for identifying pests, AI technology for data analysis, robotics for automated seedlings, sensors for the sprinkling of water, and other innovations. Teams would be given a variety of technical challenges to work on along with farming,” he added.

A 2-acre land at Yadavalli village of Utkoor Mandal in Narayanpet district has been identified for the purpose. Each team — four IT professionals and an agriculture expert — will be given 121 sq yard and challenges in the form of problem statements. | Photo credits: Sundeep Makthala

Calling it a unique learning experience for techies who work on computers for fixed office hours, Makthala invited more techies to participate in the agriculture hackathon. At each stage, the teams will study and implement various agricultural practices and innovations and will be guided by agriculture experts through discussions.

“When we have affordable solutions for known challenges and when we take farm mechanisation a step closer to the farmer, we can help more people take up farming.” Among the challenges, the participants have to also find solutions to market and sell their produce digitally.

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