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Amazon, Microsoft Swoop In on $24-Billion India Farm-Data Trove

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A Star Agribazaar field worker geo-tags a corn field during a pilot program in Guna, Madhya Pradesh.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is betting the private sector can help his nation's farmers boost yields with apps and tools.

Credit: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg

Technology giants including Amazon, Microsoft, and Cisco Systems are preparing to access data from India's farmers in a campaign to modernize the country's agricultural sector.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has signed preliminary contracts with those companies and a number of local businesses to share data compiled since 2014, starting next April.

The idea is to feed information on crop patterns, soil health, insurance, credit, and climate trends into a database for analysis via artificial intelligence and data analytics.

The results would inform development of personalized farm-to-fork services for the agricultural sector that the big technology companies could sell to the government and directly to farmers.

Ernst & Young predicts India's agri-technology sector could potentially generate about $24 billion in revenue by 2025.

From Bloomberg
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