Mrunal Manmay Dash

The agriculture department of Odisha government on Friday launched an AI Chatbot service for the farmers in the State to help them obtain information regarding farming.

The department promises to help farmers find solutions to their problems in farming after installing the app on their smart phones. They will not have to run to the local agriculture office every now and then for minor problems. It can now be solved right in their phones, the department claims.

“Only a mobile phone is enough for a farmer to know everything about farming. They will just have to install this 'Ama Krushi AI Chatbot' and scan a QR code provided by the department. The farmers can either say their questions which the AI can translate through ‘speech to text’ or they can chat with the bot in the app, all in Odia language,” said the developer of the chatbot.

“If a farmer cannot read, they can listen to the answer as well. The chatbot will read out the answer to them in Odia,” he added.

“The app is in its initial phase. Once the test is successful and the farmers like it, we will introduce photo upload feature in it as well. Farmers can then upload photos of their crop and ask what kind of pest has infested it,” the developer claimed.

As per reports, not only paddy farmers, those involved in fisheries, animal husbandry can also benefit from this chatbot.

While the government is trying to revolutionise farming by introducing AI in the sector, some have raised doubts whether the farmers can actually benefit from the service as a major chunk of farmers in rural Odisha is still illiterate and do not know how to operate a smart phone other than making and disconnecting calls.

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