Amazon launches agronomy services to empower farmers with technology

Amazon Retail has launched its agronomy services to empower farmers through an initiative that gives them timely advice and enables them to make accurate decisions on actions required for their crops. This includes introducing machine learning technology for better produce and build a robust supply chain infrastructure.

“We are excited by the role we can play in empowering farmers and the agricultural community through pioneering technology that improves farm yield and quality of fruits and vegetables,” said Amazon's Director or Grocery, Food and Health.

As part of the agronomy service launch, Amazon Retail has built an ecosystem through a combination of Agronomist driven field interventions, and farm management tool to track the impact of interventions. Each enrolled farmer partner is onboarded on the farm management tool to provide timely intervention that farmers need and value.

The team of qualified Agronomists offer Agritech expertise to registered farmer partners for better farm yield and improved product quality. Along with it, the Agronomists provide a comprehensive scientific and precise advisory to the farmers.

The program includes proactive and reactive crop plans: Proactive crop plan is based on scientific crop and soil management practices and is aimed to get better yield and quality; Reactive crop plan is an intervention-based initiative where farmers can raise alerts on pests and diseases and get remedial solutions for their farm problems.

Currently, 80 per cent of farmers on-boarded with us have access to a personalised Crop Plan on their mobile app with an ability to raise reactive crop-related queries and get resolution as and when needed.

The second offering of the Amazon Retail agronomy services is an application interface through machine learning and computer-vision-based algorithms.

It simplifies supply chain processes, helps farmers to identify defects (rotting, spots, cuts, mould) in fruits and vegetables, reduces wastage of produce, which in turn will help in ensuring that customers get the best quality of fruits and vegetables.

Amazon Retail is investing to leverage state-of-art technology to build a robust temperature-controlled supply chain infrastructure that reduces shrinkage and provides the freshest quality to customers. Amazon Retail associates use technology to inspect and monitor quality at multiple stages once the produce is sourced from farmers and dispatched to the processing centres.

The fresh produce (fruits and vegetables) are then sorted, graded, and packed in different sizes at the processing centres and dispatched to Amazon Fresh fulfilment centres located closer to customers. The fulfilment centres operates with 4 separate temperature zones (ambient, tropical, chilled and frozen) to maintain the quality and freshness of produce.

One farmer who has used the agronomy service from Amazon Retail said after being enrolled in the services from Amazon for cauliflower, he has been getting regular visits from a qualified expert for guidance. “I also get a growing plan in my app and can raise alerts whenever I notice something unusual in the farm,” he said. “Last season the quality of the crop improved due to the right actions at the right time helping me earn more."

Technology is going to play a critical role in enabling Agriculture in this decade. Amazon Retail said it is committed to make the best of its Agritech capabilities available to the farmers to help them improve their farm outcomes. Amazon Retail said it will continue to serve customers through quality, value and convenience.

Source: Business Standard