Crop Protection

BASF Digital Farming launches free xarvio® SCOUTING chatbot service in India to aid farmers and advisors

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22 September 2021, Mumbai, India: BASF Digital Farming GmbH has launched a dedicated, free of charge xarvio® SCOUTING chatbot service in India to aid its farmers and advisors.

The new chatbot service complements the global, market-leading xarvio® SCOUTING smartphone app, which can identify unknown weeds and diseases, analyze nitrogen uptake, and provide leaf damage, crop emergence and yellow trap analysis.

In India, the chatbot service has been tailored to suit local agronomic conditions and needs. It will focus on precisely identifying unknown weeds and diseases in 15 crops including rice and potato, enabling farmers and advisors to quickly receive relevant information to support decision making such as when and where to use a specific application.

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Accessible via a dedicated WhatsApp channel, the chatbot service is offered in 11 languages including English, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati, and Telugu. Farmers and advisors do not need to have the xarvio® SCOUTING app installed to use the chatbot service.

Advanced image recognition and efficiency

Working in the same way as the xarvio® SCOUTING app, the new service combines advanced image recognition technology and algorithms to identify in-field problems efficiently. To use the chatbot service, farmers and advisors simply take a picture of an in-field problem with a smartphone and send the image to +919650609211 in WhatsApp in their preferred language to connect with the dedicated xarvio® SCOUTING channel. Within seconds, they will receive a response from the chatbot identifying the in-field issue.

Aiding access to agronomic information

By using WhatsApp, one of the most popular messenger services utilized in India, xarvio® SCOUTING’s new chatbot service increases access to timely and relevant agronomic information. It also allows farmers and advisors, who do not have smartphones with large internal memory to store images or power apps, to benefit from this free service.

“In India, where agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for almost 60% of the population, we hope that our new xarvio® SCOUTING chatbot service will help improve the lives of farmers – increasing crop quality and yield, while reducing costs and lessening environmental impacts,” says Rajendra Velagala, Director BASF Agricultural Solutions India.

“The chatbot service emphasizes our commitment to fostering sustainable agriculture, by providing farmers and advisors with free and fast access to relevant, precise agronomic information that can make a real difference to their lives and communities,” says Shiva Prakash, xarvio® Commercial Lead India, BASF Digital Farming.

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