Amazon is making progress in its controversial attempts to gain access to supplies of India’s fresh produce, according to a Bloomberg report. The online retailer has begun offering real-time advice and data to India’s farmers through a dedicated mobile app to help them make decisions on crops and even deploy machine-learning technology.
The programme, which Amazon calls Reactive and Proactive Crop plans, promises to provide growers with cutting-edge technology and insights. Amazon’s mobile app is providing alerts and addresses soil, pests, weather, disease and other crop-related queries, it said in a statement without elaborating. It can also supply machine learning algorithms to detect defects in fruits and vegetables. It will help farmers sort, grade, and pack produce for transport to Amazon Fresh fulfilment centres.
Amazon’s move comes against the backdrop of months of protests by millions of small farmers in India angry about the government’s new agricultural legislation, which they feel penalises small holders and privileges large companies.