New Delhi, Oct 18 (IANS) With over 35,000 cooperative societies under its umbrella, the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd (IFFCO) is generating massive amount of data that needs to be analysed, parsed and used for predictive maintenance at its plants and enhance the productivity of nearly five crore farmers.
At the forefront of technology adoption in the Indian agriculture space, IFFCO along with Cloud major Oracle is trying to take the benefits of emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) to farmers bet it voice-enabled chatbot, user-friendly portals or Oracle Autonomous Database for analysing data.
"Oracle is a big innovator of technology and we are with them for the last 25 years. We are looking at their Autonomous Data Warehouse to utilize our data of last 30-35 years in the most efficient way. My mission is to move along with Oracle to lift and shift the entire database from on-premises to the Cloud," AK Gupta, Head-IT, IFFCO, told IANS in an interaction.
"Cloud will give us the flexibility to explore all kinds of workloads, give us highest level of up-time and value for money. Our aim is to reduce dependency on on-premises data centre and completely move our workloads to Oracle cloud," Gupta added.
When IFFCO piloted Oracle chatbot, it was initially text-based.
"We went for voice integration so that our users should be able to access the required information using a mobile via voice," he said.
This voice-enabled chatbot is the first of its kind in the agriculture industry in India.
"We had good experience of working with Oracle intelligent bot. In India, we speak English in various accents. We found that Google Assistant''s performance was quite good on this front.
The chatbot today is successfully delivering information related to HR, financials, sales force and inventory at IFFCO.
"These verticals are seamlessly integrated with Oracle chatbot, Google Assistant and our own Oracle EBS and the legacy applications. All the four dots have been connected, seamlessly," Gupta informed.
According to him, the aim is to take the chatbot to all 35,000 cooperative societies and nearly five crore farmers to solve their queries.
"Most importantly, the goal is to make it multi-lingual because the head of the cooperative society is also a farmer and if we give the bot capabilities to speak in Tamil, Marathi or Gujarati, it will be able to connect more people, especially in rural areas. Our roadmap is to make it multilingual," he noted.
According to him, all IFFCO employees and stakeholders -- retailers, wholesalers, consumers and farmers should get the benefits of new technologies.
IFFCO has also launched a portal, iffcobazar.com, where a farmer can sell products and a buyer can buy those directly at the digital marketplace. This is a multi-lingual platform, available in 13 languages.
"To uplift rural youth and increase the income of the farming community, we have developed a portal, www.iffcoyuva.in. That portal is being used from skill development to generating employment," informed the IFFCO executive.
The portal offers free services to employers and people. They can post job requirements and candidates can apply for jobs like plumber and electrician.
This portal is available in 12 languages. So far, 300 employers have registered and more than one million Facebook likes have been registered.
"An MBA can easily go to naukri.com and look for a job but a plumber can''t. The moment you login to www.iffcoyuva.in, you can easily search for relevant jobs and post your requirements," said Gupta.