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National Informatics Centre (NIC), under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India, and the Spices Board, under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the project titled "Development and Deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Aided Tools for Detection and Classification of Large Cardamom Diseases."

NIC, through its Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence (CoE-AI) in Kolkata, has developed a proof of concept for detecting various diseases in cardamom leaves using AI-based models. This initiative aims to integrate AI solutions with e-Governance applications, enhancing the agricultural sector's efficiency and productivity.

According to the MOU, the Spices Board will provide images of both healthy and diseased large cardamom leaves to NIC. These images will be processed at NIC's AI lab in Kolkata to train AI tools for accurately identifying diseased cardamom leaves.

The MOU was signed by Mrs. Sanhita Bhattacharjee, Scientist F and Additional State Informatics Officer, West Bengal, and Dr A.B. Rema Shree, Director (Research & Finance) from the Spices Board. The signing ceremony was attended by Dr. L.P. Sharma, State Informatics Officer (Sikkim), and his team from NIC Sikkim, along with several other officials from the Spices Board, Indian Cardamom Research Institute (ICRI), and NIC, who participated virtually. The collaboration was initiated under the guidance of Mrs. Shermishta Sengupta, Deputy Director General of NIC.

NIC Sikkim, the Spices Board, and NIC Kolkata have been in discussions for the past three months to finalize this MOU, marking a significant step towards leveraging AI technology for the betterment of large cardamom farming in Sikkim.


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