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Mobile App Hosted on Google Cloud Platform Helping Small Farmers in India

To bridge this knowledge gap, Pune-based agritech startup AgroStar has a multi-lingual mobile app hosted on Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

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Mobile, Farmers, India
An even higher number, 74 per cent, lack access to farming-related information. Pixabay

Nearly 70 per cent of small farmers — those cultivating fewer than three acres — in India often find their crops damaged by unforeseen weather and pests. An even higher number, 74 per cent, lack access to farming-related information.

To bridge this knowledge gap, Pune-based agritech startup AgroStar has a multi-lingual mobile app hosted on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) that is helping boost crop yields and encourage sustainable practices for small farmers in the country.

Launched as an on-premise, e-commerce platform selling farm tools in 2008, the firm turned to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to expand its offerings.

The firm now uses Cloud-based analytics and is deploying machine learning (ML) models to provide timely advice in five languages — from seed optimization, crop rotation and soil nutrition to pest control and commodity price forecasting to small farmers.

Mobile, Farmers, India
Nearly 70 per cent of small farmers — those cultivating fewer than three acres — in India often find their crops damaged by unforeseen weather and pests. Pixabay

“Moving to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) reduced our time to deployment including migrations. Now, we are able to do all the deployment during the day on Kubernetes clusters provided by Google,” Pritesh Gudge, AgroStar, software engineer, told IANS.

The shift to Google Cloud helped the firm speed loan processing, detect crop disease and enhance supply-chain logistics.

AgroStar has reached over a million farmers through its Android app called “the AgroStar Agri-Doctor”. Farmers can also follow local and national market trends that help forecast crop prices.

“Operating in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Odisha, Bihar and Karnataka, AgroStar is closing the knowledge gap with a full-service, cloud-based SaaS solution — the only one of its kind in the country,” informed Gudge.

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“Today, just by clicking through our Android application, farmers learn about new, effective farming practices and receive advice customized to their crop and soil,” Gudge added.

AgroStar is also extending its analytics platform with AI-powered sales planning and forecasting.

Using linear regression models implemented in TensorFlow and powered by Cloud ML Engine, the capability will enhance supply chain logistics as the company scales its operations across India. (IANS)

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Uber India Rolls Out Driver Reward Programme “Uber Plus”

Uber India has planned free doctor access and micro loans for drivers

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Uber
Uber has rolled out a reward programme for drivers in India. Wikimedia Commons

Global ride-hailing major Uber on Wednesday rolled out a driver rewards programme called “Uber Plus” in India that will let drivers earn points for rides so that they can win free doctor consultations, concessions on education modules, access to micro loans, faster airport pick ups and savings on vehicle maintenance costs.

These points will be earned by the driver partners in 13 cities over a fixed period of every three months and can be then accumulated to unlock higher rating tiers such as blue, gold, platinum and diamond which, in turn, will let them access better rewards, informed the company.

“Under the programme, the Uber drivers get access to four tiers. To unlock these awards, they need to maintain a certain threshold rating and keep a low cancellation rate to unlock access to these benefits,” Prabhjeet Singh, Head of Cities, Uber India and South Asia, told IANS.

Uber Plus
Under this programme, Uber drivers get access to four tiers. Pixabay

“We have always worked towards prioritising their welfare and making them feel valued, respected and appreciated. ‘Uber Plus’ is an effort in that direction and will enable our driver partners to access greater benefits during their everyday journeys,” he added.

The rewards and offers are only available to drivers who use the Uber driver app, are participating in Uber Plus and meet applicable criteria.

Asked if this initiative will help in bringing down the number of cancellations, Singh replied: “We encourage ri ders to flag such cases if the driver cancels because the mode of payment is not cash, etc. That will help us take strict action against such drivers.

“We want to encourage behaviour which helps improve the marketplace reliability. Less the cancellation, the chances of the trip getting completed goes up and, overall, the network efficiency increases.”

An initial pilot phase was carried out in Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh and Mumbai and now, Uber Plus is being rolled out across 10 new cities, including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Pune, Kochi, Guwahati and Jaipur.

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“We also want to reward drivers who have lower cancellations,” said Uber.

Under the driver programme, Uber has partnered with “Ayushman Bharat” to provide access to free healthcare to its drivers, wherein they have access to free healthcare of up to Rs 500,000 in empanelled hospitals. (IANS)