Source: The CSR Journal
Integrating smart technologies into agriculture is transforming how the world produces, processes, and delivers food. With the world seeking more sustainable and efficient means of food production, smart technologies in agriculture are growing in demand, with global VC investment in the sector touching $4 billion in just the last two years. AI will play an increasingly central role in digital transformation across sectors.
IndiVillage, a social enterprise focused on impact sourcing to deliver world-class BPO and ITeS solutions, has announced a deeper foray into the AgriTech segment through its data labelling service offering. IndiVillage is now expanding its support for the AI-powered imaging products of Israel-headquartered Taranis, a leader in digital agronomy solutions in a partnership that has run for over three years, transforming agricultural yield for farmers in North America, South America, Europe, and Australia.
Companies like Taranis, which recently closed a $30 million Series C round, provide cutting-edge technology combined with powerful AI-based analytics offering transformative value by overseeing millions of acres of farmland in North America, South America, Europe, and Australia. Taranis helps farmers optimise yield and improve crop quality by using high-resolution aerial surveillance imagery, offering leaf-level precision scouting as a service. Its computer vision driven by drone imaging and AI-powered analytics creates comprehensive field visibility that delivers valuable insights through a proprietary agriculture intelligence platform.
As with any ML-based tool, training data is essential to such intelligence at scale, and it is here that IndiVillage plays a crucial role. To this end, over the last three years, the 70-strong IndiVillage team has annotated over 800,000 images of 30 different crops such as corn, soy, and rapeseed across the US, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Ukraine, Australia, Indonesia, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Mexico, identifying crop anomalies such as damages caused by insects and weeds, disease emergence, and crop stand counts. The frequent and real-time data surveillance of crops is crucial to the early detection of issues that allows quicker and more cost-effective solution development for farmers.
The training data IndiVillage generates also allows Taranis to utilise its AI technology for a two-pronged approach – enabling Taranis clients to monitor produce for the highest yield while simultaneously planning for future seasons. Smita Malipatil, IndiVillage CEO, said, “We are proud to be working with a leading innovator like Taranis. Using drone imaging and AI analytics to monitor crop and yield health is an ingenious idea. Consequently, it needs incredible intelligence and accuracy at scale to drive value, a capability we at IndiVillage are excited to support through our precise image annotation services. With ‘Business for Good’ at the centre of our model, it is particularly heartening to work with clients like Taranis, who show that technological prowess, investor value, and real impact can go hand in hand.”
Commenting on IndiVillage’s contribution, Avi Altaras, VP operations at Taranis, said, “Our mission is to help growers across the world maximise and stabilise their crop yield. Historical data and statistical models cannot offer the nuance, accuracy, and immediacy needed for effective strategic thinking. By helping prevent crop yield loss from diseases, insects, weeds, and nutrient deficiencies in 70% of the global crop market, our tech is delivering immense value by helping farmers address issues in real-time.”
He adds, “IndiVillage’s annotation services make our algorithms smarter and faster. Also, their operational excellence, with review mechanisms such as QC process for every annotated field, a weekly feedback process, have enabled seamless collaboration, driving continuous quality improvements, reduced training time, and faster delivery for close to 20 million crop annotations. IndiVillage’s service quality and integrity are key to our sustained partnership, and we are pleased to be partnering with them for our growth story.”