With the continuous development of science and technology, artificial intelligence transforms the nature of everything that is connected to people’s everyday lives. Artificial intelligence refers to the principle that a machine and technology can perform tasks in a way similar to human brains and solve simple and more complex problems exhibiting human-like behavior. It can collect, analyze, learn, and record new information bringing new opportunities to people. Even though there is a debate about whether the advantages of artificial intelligence outweigh its disadvantages, the contribution and benefits of this technology are significant for humankind. Artificial intelligence is continuously applicable in several industries such as technology, banking, marketing and agriculture. By 2027, the market size of artificial intelligence is projected to reach $267 billion [Fortune Business Insights, 2020]. Thus, the applications of the artificial intelligence are endless.
According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, in 2018, India produced about 22% of the world’s milk output becoming the largest milk-producing country in the world [TWC India Edit Team, 2019]. At the present moment, India is one of the world’s fastest-growing market of dairy products. With more than 150 million small dairy farms, India surpassed the countries of the European Union in milk production. The industry continues to grow by generating $100 billion a year [Grain, 2019]. Even though there are issues as the spread of infections and diseases, identity theft, and mistrust between farmers and traders, small dairy farms could improve and transform the dairy industry with the help of artificial intelligence, which could be a new vision of milk production and a representative example for other dairy farmers around the globe.
Firstly, Indian farmers like farmers in other developing countries cut the ears of the cattle to identify the fraud and track the disease outbreaks. In European countries, the United Kingdom and the United States, all cattle have a cattle passport that is unique for each of the animals and stays with it for its entire life. Nevertheless, farmers put a tag on animals with digits and animal numbers. The solution to this painful procedure is the facial recognition of the cattle that is run by artificial intelligence. There are a number of companies, which improve the dairy industry by applying artificial intelligence: Cainthus, a company that uses artificial intelligence to identify the health and reproduction of cattle; Moo-ID, a platform based on artificial intelligence for cattle identification; Stellapps, a technology that optimizes the supply chain of the milk production. The milktech startup called MoooFarm, which works together with Microsoft, helps Indian dairy farmers to address the issue of cattle identity by developing a machine learning (ML) platform. Moreover, this technology can tackle cattle diseases that have negative consequences on the level and quality of production [Sengupta, 2019].
Secondly, as for the health of cattle, it is the major aspect of the milk industry, since it is directly connected with the output of milk and milk products. Being one of the main diseases among the cattle, subclinical mastitis is considered to be the economically destructive cause of production losses. As stated by Sinha et al. (2014), mastitis costs Indian dairy farmers $1 billion annually. At the present time, technology platforms based on the Internet of Things (IoT) monitor the health of the cattle by collecting the data of walking, temperature changes, and rumination of the cattle. The device of IoT that is usually used to track these data is a collar, which is put on the neck of the animals and transfers the collected data every second. The collected data is analyzed to detect any symptoms of the potential diseases or outbreaks among the cattle. Another method of detecting the disease is by applying the ML vision by using the image of the udder of the cattle. This method is successfully applied by MoooFarm, the algorithm of which observes the change in markings or discoloration of the udder [Sengupta, 2019]. Thus, artificial intelligence can benefit milk production in the identification of the cattle’s infections and registration of the state of health.
Thirdly, artificial intelligence can also help in cattle trading, since it is unorganized in many farms and need improvement. The data such as historical price, health records, information about age, milk production and in particular, historical and current number of the cattle would be helpful for both farmers in counting the number of animals and traders in making a decision of setting the price. The artificial intelligence-based machine, which has all the figures and statistics of previous years, would definitely benefit the negotiations between Indian farmers and traders.
Overall, summing up all the information above, it could be concluded that the artificial intelligence is worthwhile applying in many economic industries, especially, in agriculture and dairy industry. Currently, India is adapting the technology based on artificial intelligence such as machine learning and Internet of Things to perform certain functions to improve the milk production. The ability to identify and track the number, and the health condition of cattle will give small dairy farmers in India new efficient ways to improve the quality of production and avoid the economic losses. Historically, the five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) share nearly common agricultural past. Countries of this region, especially Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, have tremendous potential for growth of its dairy industry. If India introduces artificial intelligence successfully in its milk production, Central Asian republics can adopt best practices that were implemented by the Indian farmers. Additionally, artificial intelligence-driven technology will improve efficiency by facing the challenges of the dairy industry.
Fortune Business Insights (2020). Market Research Report. Retrieved from https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/industry-reports/artificial-intelligence-market-100114. Accessed on 15.11.2020.
Grain (2019). India Dairy under Threat from new Trade Deals. Retrieved from https://www.grain.org/en/article/6257-indian-dairy-under-threat-from-new-trade-deals. Accessed on 15.11.2020.
Sengupta, Ramarko (2019). Milktech Startup MoooFarm to Work with Microsoft to Help Indian Dairy Farmers. Retrieved from https://yourstory.com/2019/05/startup-milktech-mooofarm-microsoft-dairy-farmers. Accessed on 15.11.2020.
Sinha, Mukesh Kr., Thomare, N. N., and Mondal, Biswajit (2014). Subclinical Mastitis in Dairy Animals: Incidence, Economics, and Predisposing Factors. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264502269_Subclinical_Mastitis_in_Dairy_Animals_Incidence_Economics_and_Predisposing_Factors. Accessed on 15.11.2020.
TWC India Edit Team (2019). On National Milk Day, Here Are 5 Facts about India’s Dairy Industry. Retrieved from https://weather.com/en-IN/india/news/news/2019-11-26-national-milk-day-5-facts-india-favourite-liquid-food. Accessed on 15.11.2020.
Note: The views expressed in this blog are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the Institute’s editorial policy.
Dautova Ilana holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from KIMEP University (Almaty, Kazakhstan). She has also studied at the Foundation course at Lancaster University (Lancaster, United Kingdom) and on the exchange program at Ewha Womans University (Seoul, South Korea). Previously, she worked as a business development manager at the POSCO International Corporation.