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How Google Cloud is Helping Farmers to Thrive


Think that the Google Cloud Platform isn't for everyone? Think again. A recent case study into the incredible results achieved by a business in India highlights that just about any industry can benefit from the cloud. According to a news report, around 70% of the small farmers in India currently struggle to make the most out of their crops. There are many reasons for this, including unforeseen weather events, and sudden rises in the pest population. Another major issue for these Indian farmers is a lack of access to relevant information. 

Since Google has always been dedicated to bridging the knowledge gap with things like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and even search engine performance, it's no surprise that the GCP has emerged at the heart of a new project to support India's agriculture too. An agritech startup in the region named 'AgroStar' has designed a brand-new multilingual mobile app launched through the Google Cloud Platform in the last month. This new tool is helping to improve crop yields, encourage sustainable practices, and enhance agriculture performance across the country. 

Anyone Can Move to the Cloud

Increasingly, particularly in the last couple of years, Google and its cloud team have been working exceptionally hard to prove that the GCP is an environment where anyone can develop and thrive. It doesn't matter whether you live in one of the world's biggest tech hubs like Austin, Texas, or you're looking for opportunities to grow in the heart of India's rural farmland. 

When AgroStar launched in 2008, the company was a purely on-premise eCommerce platform, that sold farm tools to locations across the country. It wasn't until this year that the business turned to Google to discover whether they could take additional steps to transform their offerings. The firm now uses Cloud-based analytics throughout its entire enterprise to ensure that it's making the most of all its available technology. What's more, for farmers in India, AgroStar also uses Google's state-of-the-art machine learning models to provide advice in five different languages. 

The kind of advice that farmers can get from the AgroStar app includes insights into everything from crop rotation strategies, to seed optimization, soil nutrition, and pest control. There's even access to things like commodity price forecasting for smaller farmers. 

According to the Software Engineer at AgroStar, Pritesh Gudge, moving to the Google Cloud Platform reduced the time to deployment for the company significantly, including the time required for migrations. Today, the company can manage all of their implementations during a single day, using Kubernetes clustered provided by Google. 

Discovering the Power of Cloud Computing

Shifting into the Google Cloud Platform environment helped AgroStar to transform their company, and support farmers all across India as a result. Today, through the GCP platform, the brand can speed up loan processing times, enhance supply chain logistics, and even detect the risk of crop disease at a distance. AgroStar has now reached over a million farmers through the Android app that it offers to modern agricultural professionals. The farmers that use the app can also follow national and local market trend information that helps them to forecast the correct crop prices. 

AgroStar's cloud-based solution is growing at a rapid pace as the only full-service solution of its kind in the country. Never before has the farming space in India seen the same level of high-quality SaaS technology. Just by clicking through the AgroStar android application, farmers can learn about effective farming practices, receive advice customised to their crops, and even check the quality of their soil. The AgroStar brand also plans to continue building on its cloud-based operations in the years to come. Moving ahead, the business will be extending its analytics platform with Google Cloud Platform at its core. The analytics service will soon include AI-enhanced sales forecasting and planning for all farmers that have access to the android app. 

By using the linear regression models of Google's TensorFlow solution, and accessing the incredible opportunities offered by the Cloud ML engine, AgroStar has evolved at a rapid pace. This success story from India is another clear example of how any business can accomplish incredible things with the help of the right cloud environment.