The State of Telangana prioritizes agriculture. A total of an estimated 5.77 million farmers hold farms that measure 2 acres (1 hectare) or 115 lakh acres (46.54 lakh hectares) in the state and contribute 14.6% to the state’s gross domestic product.
The Government of Telangana collaborated with C4IR India, the World Economic Forum, and a cross-section of the AgriTech Industry and the start-up neighbourhood to identify the potential of deploying rising applied sciences to change the face of agriculture in the state. The project was carried out as part of the AI4AI (AI for Agriculture Innovation) initiative, which was launched by Hon’ble IT Minister Sri KT Rama Rao in Aug’20. During the AI4AI initiative, nine frameworks and 30 application scenarios were identified along with four components of the agriculture value chain, namely, Crop Planning, Smart Farming, Farmgate-to-Fork, and Data-Driven Agriculture.
As part of the AI4AI initiative, a problem called Saagu Baagu (which means Agriculture-Advancement) has been conceptualized with the aim of transforming the state of agriculture with the use of emerging technologies in a scalable, inclusive, sustainable manner. We hope to reach at least 100,000 farmers over the course of four crop cycles and have enough readiness to implement it all over the state. Agriculture Department is leading the Saagu Baagu Project with assistance from State Agricultural University (PJTSAU), Information Technology & Communication Department, and World Economic Forum.
The Government of Telangana will launch its request for expressions of interest in one or two weeks. The purpose of this EoI is to identify and arrange the true potential of contemporary technological choices within the Agri value chain together with significant Project Implementation Partners and their consortia of significant participants in the Agri ecosystem. Thinking big, starting small, and scalability fast must be the starting point for addressing the problem.
Under the EoI, the PIPs are to be limited to 2 years (3*4 crop cycles) all through diverse districts of priority crops like Cotton, Chill, and Turmeric during Kharif and Ground Nut, Bengal Gram, and Paddy during Rabi.
PIPs and their consortiums should develop at least 5 distinct use-cases along the entire crop value chain, ensuring a holistic deployment that is not a singular project.
The Saagu Baagu Project has decided to implement a Public Private Partnership (PPC) between the government and private sector due to the challenges associated with scaling rising applied sciences. Agritech use scenarios would be adopted and utilized faster under a PPC framework, where federal officials collaborate with state institutions to create an enabling environment.
The Principal Secretary of the ITE&C Department of the Telangana Government, Shri Jayesh Ranjan, remarked that in order to truly improve farmers’ lives, they should adopt technology, which our Saagu Baagu project will facilitate.