An Innovative App To Educate And Empower The Farmers
Koshika Krishna Maharashtra
January 6th, 2017 / 2:50 PM
“Strengthening the backbone of the Indian Economy”
The Agriculture Development Trust was established in the year 1971 in the rain shadow region of Baramati, Maharashtra to curb the growing poverty and famine across the district. Over years, the Trust has done commendable social work in improving the agricultural conditions of this region through drought management, systematic water irrigation and implementation of modern technological inventions. Today, they have successfully transformed the dry, arid lands of Baramati into thriving and productive farming cultivations.
In the same spirit and determination of empowering the farmers, the Agricultural Development Trust has now launched “Krushik” a farmer based app. The purpose of this invention is to increase farm productivity by creating a digital portal for accessing information. The Trust has used modern technology to connect farmers from rural, remote areas with the latest agricultural practices. The app is available on Play Store and is free of cost.
The Krushik app provides 7 days Taluka-level weather forecast and the latest agriculture related news. It features an ‘Advisory Section’ that provides crop specific weather based weekly advisory. The entire process from sowing to harvesting is displayed in a simple and condensed format for better understanding. The App provides information on possible crop diseases and pest infestations based on prevailing weather conditions and forecast. It also recommends suitable remedies for its prevention. It provides health tips on animal husbandry (livestock) and poultry that is vaccination, type of fodder based on climatic conditions and basic hygiene standards.
The most unique feature of this app includes a calculator which is based on standard scientific understanding. It automatically calculates a complete drip layout cost and the required equipment for its implementation. For instance if a farmer wants to introduce ‘drip irrigation’ throughout his cultivable land, traditionally he would require the expertise of a drip designer. However with ‘Krushik’ he can calculate the approximate cost of the project based on the current market price of the equipment on its own. Basic information such as the length-width of the farm, source of irrigation, crop etc are the desired inputs required for this calculation. This can also be used to know the total cost of seeds and seedlings required during sowing and its market value, empowering the farmers such that they cannot be exploited by the vendors.
Another option available is for calculating the “ideal feed” for cattle, based on their body weight. The most interesting part of the App is that the farmer can estimate the body weight of the cattle by entering simple physical parameters such as length and width of the cattle.
Information on ‘Organic Manures’ has also been provided. The process for preparation and application of compost, vermicompost, organic pesticides and insecticide solutions (Dashparni-ark, Neem-ark, Amrutpani etc.) from farm wastes and other ingredients has been explained in detail. The ‘guide section’ of the App provides a package of farm practices for the main crops as well.
The app has been iconized pictographically to ensure that literacy does not pose a barrier for accessing this information.
An updated version of the app, which is slated to be released soon will cover market rates for various farm commodities. Another interesting part is that the Farmers can feed the ‘soil sample report’ of their land in the App which will then automatically calculate and recommend suitable solutions and practices for fertilizer application to help increase the soil nutritional value and the resultant farm output. The app will periodically publish success stories and articles on modern farming techniques.
Krushik is currently available only for farmers across the State of Maharashtra. It is in Marathi so that a wider user base can be reached however the Trust aims to release a Hindi and English version soon. Based on the results of the pilot project in Maharashtra the app will be made available across other States. It has reached more than 3,700 users so far.
The Agricultural Development Trust, Baramati also organizes an Annual exhibition “Krushik”, where farmers from across the State witness live demonstration on the latest, most effective farming and animal husbandry techniques. It was here, last year that many farmers expressed the need for a way to access and obtain information easily.
The Krushik app successfully bridges the gap between traditional and modern farming. It has reduced the time lapse between technology developed in the research institutions to its transfer and implementation in the farming fields. Thus, successfully increasing production, productivity and income from the agriculture and allied sectors sustainably.
You can download the App here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rtc.krushik
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