With every new crop or crop variety a farmer faces the challenge of understanding the package of practices associated with the crop. While the yield greatly depends on how religiously a farmer has adhered to the package of practices, many farmers fail to achieve the yield as they struggle to understand and interpreting the proposed best practices.
This project aims to help farmers improve their yield by providing accurate, timely and highly personalized advisory. Through a simple and intuitive user interface (UI) that requires minimal literacy levels, a farmer can provide basic information about the crop under plantation and the start of the plantation. Based on these inputs, a crop calendar kicks into place and the farmer begins to receive periodic calls giving him the necessary advisory in the form of audio/video content.
The project was developed under the guidance of the Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI).
Innovation and Research
The project received immense praise for its service design that makes innovative use of SD cards and call simulations. The periodic calls received by the farmer aren’t real calls emerging from the telecom provider but rather simulated calls that originate from within the app that is running in the background. Furthermore, by completely removing the dependence on a telecom provider, the app functions even when no network is available and the simulated calls come with zero cost. The app was also designed after extensive behavioral study of illiterate and semi-literate farmers and how they used their mobile devices. The project also considered factors such as poor network connectivity, frugality, lack of knowledge on data connectivity, wide presence of feature phones among farmers and their limitations, etc before arriving at an optimal service design.