AI Changing the Landscape of the Livestock Sector in India

AI Changing the Landscape of the Livestock Sector in India
AI Changing the Landscape of the Livestock Sector in India

Artificial intelligence has ushered in a new era for the agricultural sector, especially the cattle industry. The goal of this change is to make farming in the future more sustainable and less harmful to the environment, not merely more efficient and productive. Through this article, we take a look at how AI is changing the face of cattle farming for the better, leading to happier cows and a cleaner environment.

When raising cattle, one of the most important things is to make sure the herd stays healthy. Early disease identification and health monitoring are two areas where AI-driven solutions are seeing increased use. For instance, by monitoring habits and vital signs, sensors can detect early indicators of disease. Because of this preventative measure, fewer antibiotics are needed, which leads to healthier cattle and less resistance to antibiotics. Researchers at Vienna's University of Veterinary Medicine found that disease diagnosis rates might be up to 20% higher with the help of AI-powered surveillance systems.

Sharing his views on the subject, Dr. Chandan Kumar, Associate Professor, DUVASU Mathura stated, “The AI parts of the dairy automation system analyse the data and give farmers information about things like heat estrous, heat stress, changes in feeding efficiency, and pregnancy status, among other things that are important for farm management. Farmers and businesses would benefit greatly from a fresh start if the government prioritised the promotion and affordable availability of software and technology, as well as the encouragement of animal researchers to pursue careers in this area in conjunction with the IITs.”

Anand Ramanathan, a partner at Deloitte India, claims that India ranks high among the global manufacturers of dairy products and milk. Still, the dairy business in India is dispersed, no matter how big it is. In addition, he mentioned that an online marketplace allows farmers to visually check the breeds of cattle and the claims made about their milk production.

Raising Milk Yields
Combating Toxins: The Part AI Plays in Guaranteeing Feed Safety
Major Challenges

Raising Milk Yields

One measure of a dairy farm's prosperity is the amount of milk it produces. To improve output, AI systems can examine data on cow health, milk quality, and yield. For example, according to a survey from the Dairy Farmers of America, milk production increased by 10% when AI was used to track udder health. Not only does this efficiency increase profits, but it also reduces the environmental impact by reducing the number of cows needed to produce the same amount of milk.

The path forward is paved by startups. Their automated solutions use the Internet of Things (IoT) and advanced analytics to boost milk output and quality for small dairy farmers in India, revolutionizing the mostly unorganized dairy sector. Stellapps Technologies, started in 2011 by five individuals with degrees from IIT, is one such company. More than 750,000 small farmers in some of India's most remote regions, where internet connectivity is extremely limited, use the product or service offered by the Bengaluru-based firm every day. Qualcomm, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and ABB Technology Ventures (ABV), the venture capital arm of ABB, have all recently invested in it.

Estimated Value of Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture Market Worldwide From 2023 to 2028
Estimated Value of Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture Market Worldwide From 2023 to 2028

Combating Toxins: The Part AI Plays in Guaranteeing Feed Safety

The health of cattle and the quality of their dairy and meat products are both impacted by pollutants, so it is critical to ensure that cow feed is safe. Toxins in feed can be detected and predicted with the use of AI techniques. As an example, machine learning models may assess past data and present circumstances to forecast the probability of mycotoxin contamination, allowing farmers to implement preventative actions.

A more sustainable and eco-friendly method is being made possible through the use of AI in cow production. In this green revolution, AI is leading the charge to optimize land and water use and reduce methane emissions. Achieving a balance between sustainability and productivity is crucial for the future of cow farming, and AI can help with that.

Precision animal feeding and management is eFeed's forte in India. The company uses AI to generate personalized feed recommendations. This method shows dedication to efficiency and sustainability by trying to reduce emissions of methane while increasing animal yields.

Major Challenges

Big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) are some of the digital technologies that are modernizing and reshaping agricultural and livestock value chains. India is one of the few developing nations that has been slow to embrace and use digital solutions to transform agriculture, in contrast to countries like the Netherlands, the United States, Australia, and Israel.

Public-private partnership (PPP) models and large companies are expected to foster digital agriculture adoption in India in the future. However, cost remains a constraint, as input costs for dairy farms are higher and most farms only have average-producing cows. As a result, the adoption rate in India will be affected.

“While researchers at IIT DELHI and NDRI Karnal have developed AI and fuzzy logic technologies to improve agricultural management, bringing these innovations to market will be a slow process, and we continue to rely on the progress of other nations that have invested heavily in AI and ML. We should hire biotechnologists and bioinformatics experts to investigate and research the potential of these new things in Indian settings, and we need someone to operate this technology,” opined Dr. Kumar.

This is an ideal opportunity for animal scientists and recent tech graduates to step up and help define the future of India's livestock industry, as the government has already begun to encourage startups and the timing is right to act.


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