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mKisan is An Interactive Advisory System for Farmers

Summary: Farmer is the most important actor in agriculture based Pakistan economy. With one of the highest penetration rates, mobile and related applications have the potential of alleviate farmer problems by providing timely information relating to agriculture, finance, farming resources and government policies. Due to the unavailability of timely and tailored information, farmers have to rely on old farming practices without taking into account the local weather conditions in the area, soil characteristics of their farmlands and innovative agro-management practices. This lack of information effects farmer’s productivity and profitability.

This project aims to empower (lower end) farmer by providing him crucial farming production information in a timely manner using information and communication technology. By geo-spatial tagging of farmlands using GPS technology, this information can be further tailored to the needs of the farmers of different graphical regions. The proposed project aims to employ m-agriculture as an access model for delivering information to the rural farmer that best suits his region-specific agricultural requirements. This shall help towards informed decision making related to sowing, cultivating, fertilizing, harvesting, marketing and selling and consequently increase the farmer profits and elevate his socio-economic status.

We propose to implement a centralized interactive advisory system capable of providing area-specific information to farmers through a smartphone application. This system will have a knowledge base of all the information sources pertaining to agriculture activities. Data provided by different governmental agencies will be processed to extract area-specific information that would eventually be shared with target farmers through the mobile application. Another important feature of this system is two-way information flow whereby farmers can not only receive information tailored for them but would also be able to extract relevant information through the mobile application with Urdu language interface. Apart from information dissemination through mobile application, this system also provides an efficient and cost-effective mechanism to collect feedback from farmers about their agro-management practices as well as availability and usefulness of different agricultural inputs available to farmers in their nearby markets. This data will be analyzed to generate reports about farmers’ satisfaction levels and their requirements in different regions.

This system will strengthen the capabilities of stakeholder department, Directorate of Information, Department of Agriculture, Punjab that are currently relying on electronic and paper media for information dissemination. This system adds another dimension to existing services offered by the stakeholder department by employing m-agriculture model for information dissemination.