19:00 GMT27 January 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): As New Delhi gears up to begin 5G trials in the country, it has been reported that the fifth generation of high speed internet could help fight food scarcity, including in India, where agriculture employs around 50 percent of the workforce.

    Ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, experts from the US-based Consumer Technology Association (CTA) have highlighted the concept of “smart villages” which would be facilitated by 5G data connectivity.

    The creation of “Smart Farms” would equip farmers with advanced 5G-enabled technologies along with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) which would not only help in better crop cultivation, but also make field and livestock management easier.

    Smart farms would put to use modern soil sensors along with drones and satellites-based technologies which would be efficiently fuelled by 5G internet.

    After the US, India has the largest arable land of around 159.7 million hectares in the world. India also has the largest gross irrigated crop area in the world accounting over 82.6 million hectares.

    Farming-related work sectors contribute to nearly 20 percent of India’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – which is currently at the lowest in six years.

    The sooner 5G is rolled out in India, the faster the country would be able to cope with its ongoing economy slump.

    India is targeting 2020 for its 5G rollout, however, important elements necessary to formulate the required 5G ecosystem including – spectrum, edge devices and infrastructure are yet to come up to the required standard.

    In December 2019, Indian Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced that 5G trials in the country would begin from January 2020.

    The 5G field trial in India would be carried out only through licensed Telecom Service Providers in “a restrictive, limited geographical area and for specific use cases”.


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