PepsiCo Launches Crop Intelligence Model for India
PepsiCo India, through its brand Lay’s, announced a crop and plot-level predictive intelligence model to assist farmers in maximizing potato yields and quality through functional dashboards on user-friendly mobile apps. This initiative 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. It was launched in collaboration with Cropin, a leading global agri-tech company known for creating the first industry cloud for agriculture.
Most farmers in India own less than one hectare of farmland and face constant challenges due to a lack of resources to assess the optimal use of agri-inputs such as water, fertilizers, and pesticides, as well as actionable weather data. For instance, potato yield losses caused by blight crop disease
The new initiative under the PepsiCo-owned brand “Lay’s” has the potential to address these challenges by providing insights using satellite imagery correlated with remote sensing data. The system can generate a forecast up to 10 days in advance, assisting farmers in identifying different crop stages as well as close monitoring of crop health, including a disease warning system based on weather forecasts and historical data.
PepsiCo works directly and indirectly with over 27,000 farmers across 14 states in India, and 100% of the potatoes for its “Lay’s” brand are sourced locally. During the pilot stage, farmers receive the necessary training and assistance from field agronomists who assist them in understanding the dashboard and leveraging the data.
Farmers would gain access to the dashboards and related information via simple smartphone apps, namely ‘Cropin Grow’ for farm data management and ‘Plot Risk’ for crop intelligence. The apps can support multiple languages, and PepsiCo intends to offer the solutions in 14 regional languages as part of its commitment to supply chain inclusivity. Cropin’s predictive and plot intelligence models are fine-tuned for specific crop varieties, conditions, and locations using the world’s largest crop knowledge graph.
PepsiCo began investigating agricultural technology in India in 2018 with the Digitalization of agricultural operations, which were moved to SAP systems under the Smart Agro Program. The main goal of the program was to add value by increasing productivity and water safety through low-cost technology. The Intelligence of the Crop