AI Potential to Strengthen the Agricultural Finance Access by Small-Scale Farmers

The possibility to use different artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in predicting the financial requirement and its effective management by smallholders is very high. It leads to prevent farmer distresses and help them to achieve better financial management at their end. We know that one of the most essential elements to gain a profitable yield is sufficient and timely financial support, which helps farmers to purchase inputs, preparing, and management of land, acquire better farm equipment and machinery, etc. Education level, farming experiences, and easy access to banks also play critical roles in adopting newer farm technologies by the farmers to yield more profit at the end. Today, Government of India (GoI) is carrying out different smart strategies to double the farmers’ income and perhaps AI is one of the most powerful concept to solve these problems in a manner which is considered “Smart”. In AI, classification and regression tree (CART) is the application that enables computers to learn important information by themselves, which are otherwise not possible to obtain. Smallholders in India can use these predictive abilities of CART for measuring the access to finance and managing them effectively for better productivity. Now question arises how we can build this capacity at farmers level? Various startups, research labs, government agencies, banks and community level institutions i.e. Farmer producer Companies (FPCs) etc can play an important role in this regard. In order to implement effective solutions and understand the power of AI, we performed an in-depth study on the paddy producers of Balrampur village under Kharagpur-I block of Paschim Medinipur, WB, India. The findings of our study not only give a better prediction but also present the most salient factors such as the importance of market information and the availability of extension services to develop better financial management of smallholders of this region.

-Anirban Nandy & Shiladitya Dey, ARF lab members, IIT Kharagpur