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Microsoft registers blockchain and AI-powered agriculture platform ‘FarmBeats’ in Brazil: Report

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Fri, 07 Jun 2019, 09:31 am UTC

Tech titan Microsoft has registered an application for the agricultural sector, powered by cutting-edge technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI), in Brazil, Cointelegraph said in an exclusive reported.

The solution, dubbed “FarmBeats,” which has already been implemented in farms across the United States, India, New Zealand, and Kenya, has now been registered in Brazil.

The technology’s initial rollout has reportedly witnessed a 30% reduction in water consumption and a 44% reduction in pH control time. It uses various advanced technologies including blockchain, AI, drones, Internet of Things (IoT) and big data to boost productivity.

Ranveer Chandra, chief scientist at Microsoft Azure, is the person behind the technology. Commenting on their particular focus on Brazil, Chandra told Epoca Negocios (via online translation):

“Brazil is one of the first countries that comes to mind when we think of agriculture. We developed FarmBeats so that its technology could be applied here and in other developing countries."

FarmBeats, a low-cost system for data-driven agriculture, aims to solve the world food problem, that is, sustainably increasing food production by 70% by 2050 (from 2010 production levels).

The application connects farms located in rural and remote areas using TV white space – the unused TV spectrum that can be leveraged to extend Wi-Fi like connectivity. It then collects large amounts of data from farms such as soil moisture, pH, temperature, humidity, etc using various technologies such as terrestrial sensors, drones, tractors, and cameras. This data is then converted into smaller magnitudes, making them suitable to be uploaded to the cloud.

"Sensor data connects to drone and camera data, making it easy to build algorithms,” Chandra said.

Last year, Claudia Roessler, Director Industry Solutions for Chemical and Agriculture at Microsoft Corporation, explained that not all data needs to be uploaded in the cloud for analysis and much of it can be instantly used to address occurring problems on the farm. She said that in the future consumers expect to be able to track their food – an area that can significantly benefit from blockchain technology.

Cointelegraph stated that the registration of Microsoft FarmBeats, as well as the applications that it offers using blockchain and other technologies, has been approved by the National Institute of Intellectual Property (INPI).

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