Crop Intelligence Model – PepsiCo India, through its brand “Lay’s,” launched a crop and plot-level predictive intelligence technology to help farmers maximise potato yields and quality via functional dashboards on user-friendly mobile apps. This initiative, launched in collaboration with Cropin, a leading global agri-tech company known for developing the first industry cloud for agriculture, is part of PepsiCo’s ‘Precision Agriculture’ model for India and is being implemented as a pilot project in demo farms in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
Most farmers in India possess less than one hectare of farmland and face ongoing hurdles due to a lack of tools to evaluate the optimal consumption of agri-inputs such as water, fertilisers, and pesticides, as well as meaningful meteorological data. Potato production losses, for example, can reach 80% if not predicted early. Significant crop loss due to ground frost is another important challenge for potato producers, particularly in the northern portions of the country.
PepsiCo works directly and indirectly with approximately 27,000 farmers across 14 states in India, and 100% of the potatoes for its “Lay’s” brand are supplied from farmers in the nation. Field agronomists are assisting farmers in understanding the dashboard and leveraging the findings during the pilot period. Currently, the programme is being tested on 62 farms in Gujarat and 11 in Madhya Pradesh.
Crop Intelligence Model
Farmers would be able to access the dashboards and related information using simple smartphone apps, specifically “Cropin Grow” for farm data management and “Plot Risk” for crop intelligence. The apps may handle several languages, and PepsiCo wants to offer the solutions in 14 regional languages as part of its commitment to supply chain diversity. Cropin’s predictive and graphic intelligence models are fine-tuned for specific crop kinds, conditions, and locales, and are built on the world’s largest crop knowledge graph.
PepsiCo India began researching agricultural technology in 2018 with the Digitalization of agricultural operations, which were shifted to SAP systems under the Smart Agro Programme. The program’s major purpose was to provide value by enhancing productivity and water safety through low-cost technology. The Crop Intelligence Model is yet another digital innovation that has the potential to be adopted at a fraction of the cost per acre compared to existing solutions, making it accessible and scalable even for small-scale farmers.