Google AI for Social Good – Impact of aridification on agricultural production in the Cauvery Delta
MSSRF is actively involved in exploring the scope of remote-sensing applications in agriculture. Supported by the Google AI for Social Good Programme and in collaboration with the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi (IIIT-D), MSSRF is studying the scope for developing and implementing high-resolution satellite imagery to model the impact of aridification on paddy yields in the Cauvery Delta, Tamil Nadu, India, using remote-sensing and artificial intelligence.
Initiated by Google Research India lab in partnership with Google.org and Google’s University Relations program, the ‘AI for Social Good’ program’ is aimed at bringing together non-profits and academics to collaborate on projects that tackle social, humanitarian and environmental challenges.
The study uses AI and ML techniques to analyse remote-sensing data for crop type identification, estimating the value of relevant biophysical and climatic parameters, and determining details of crop production at higher spatio-temporal resolution than possible from usual ground-based administrative surveys. The project scopes for the following quantitatively verifiable prediction problems of: (i) crop cover map; (ii) sowing and harvesting date prediction; (iii) yield estimation, and (iv) measurement of evapotranspiration.
The current research is expected to add to the existing work by improving baseline knowledge on the research problems from the study area. The application of remote-sensing and AI can potentially help scale our understanding and overcome limitations with data requirements to address the key questions. The project’s expected outcomes will assist in: (i) key inputs for targeted interventions and planned adaptation measures to improve the production and income of small farmers; (ii) planned use of irrigation capacity using data on ET with local irrigation information, and (iii) providing key parameters to assess the potential risk to regional food security.