Tag Archives: solution-pakistan-agriculture

SMS and Web Based Agriculture Information Delivery System For Pakistan

25 Jan

I will be sharing here the implementation details of agriculture information system which I have developed. Objective to share this information is to help others and give them a hint about the system. Although there is room for improvements.

This article covers the detailed implementation of components of system. All the technologies used in the project will also be explained in detail.




The features mentioned in the above sections are implemented.  Web portal is implemented using Java Enterprise Edition (J2EE). Implementation technology is Java Server Faces version 2.0 (JSF2.0) and PrimeFaces is used as component library. Some of pages are developed in Java Server Pages (JSP). Database used is MySQL which is an open source database and used widely for web applications. Integrated Development Environment (IDE) used for the development is NetBeans 7.2.0.

Why J2EE (JSF) is used?

First of all Java Enterprise Edition is used for huge scale applications. It is also portable and can be used for cross platform. The system which we have developed has a huge potential for subscription and the subscribers can be in millions. Therefore Java Enterprise Edition helps as it is used in situations where users are large in numbers. JSF2.0 follows MVC architecture which separates the business logic and view. MVC architecture is very helpful in creating large scale applications. One of the important factors is also the motivation for a mobile edition of the web portal in future, that could be easily developed in PrimeFaces.

Web Portal Users

There are four types of users of this web portal

  1. Seed Sellers
  2. Agricultural Advisories
  3. Farmers
  4. Administrator

1-    Seed Sellers

1.      Seed Seller Registration Module

Web portal contains a registration module where seed sellers/agricultural product sellers can register themselves by entering some specific information. Information will be saved in the database.


2.      Seed Seller Login Module

Seed seller can log on to the system by entering the credentials asked at the registration time. Credentials are username and password.


3.      Seed Seller Information Feeding Module

Main theme to bring seed sellers to web portal is information acquiring. Seed sellers can add the information about their seeds. Information entered by the sellers is stored in the database.  Initially seller can add information of only three crops; cotton, corn and rice but in future it will be extended to maximum crops.  Seed information is further categorized. PrimeFaces’ component “Accordion Pane” is used for the graphical user interface.


2-    Agricultural Advisories

Agricultural advisories in Pakistan carry out research pertaining seeds and production technologies. Agricultural advisories in Pakistan do not have a mechanism to share their research with farmers. Advisories module in the web portal is same as the seed seller’s module. So advisories can also share information on the web portal which is saved in the database.

1.      Seed Seller Registration Module

2.      Seed Seller Login Module

3.      Seed Seller Information Feeding Module

3-    Farmer

Farmers are the core users and the focal point of the system. The whole system is being developed for the information sharing to the farmers. Only registered farmers will be able to get agricultural updates. Farmers can subscribe to our system using two ways:

1.      Registration through SMS

Farmers in villages do not have access to computers; moreover most of them are computer illiterate. To facilitate the farmers and make system useful for the farmers, registration through SMS is introduced in the system. Farmers who want to subscribe to our system can type in SMS

  1. ‘Sub’ or ‘s’and sends it to 03348648921 (Not Operational. Will Make it Operation Soon).
  2. Farmer will get reply with instruction and sample SMS to register with system.
  3. By correctly replying to the information requested, farmer subscription request will be received at the web portal which later administrator will moderate (Accept/Reject).

2.      Registration at web portal

Farmers are also facilitated in registration by the web portal. Someone questions why registration through web portal is there? Answer is that there is chance that we can collect data from large number of farmers themselves and register them manually instead of using SMS registration method. Farmer is asked some specific information at the time of registration which is helpful for sending the updates to farmers later.


4-    Administrator

Administrator is also a very important user of the system specifically for the management of system. Administrator is the super user of the web portal. The entire user interface in the admin panel is developed in the PrimeFaces. The component of PrimeFaces used is “Tabview”. Administrator has the following functionalities at the web portal.


1.      SMS sending Module

Administrator can send SMS to farmers based on the Region, District and Crop.  E.g. administrator can select where region is Rawalpindi, District is Attock; also admin want to send SMS only to cotton farmers. SMS is automatically generated when administrator select the options. Administrator has the options to send SMS in English or Urdu.


2.      Automated broadcasting

Administrator can set up the time for the periodic broadcast of a SMS. And location for sending the SMS selected from the list of options. SMS can be sent to all the districts or a specific district. To implement this feature PrimeFaces Poll component is used which provides the functionality to call an event again and again after specified interval.


3.      Automated web crawling

Administrator has the option to run the web crawler for the three crops initially Corn, Cotton and Rice. Only Corn crawling is working. Information is crawled from the Pioneer Seeds website. Information is fetched through an open source web crawler ‘Crawler4j’. Information is parsed after fetching and then stored in the database. Parser used for parsing the HTML page is the “JSoup “parser, which is an open source parser.


4.      User Management

User management is an important feature of admin module in the web portal. This feature covers the user management. Administrator can view the sellers, advisories and farmers registered in our system. Administrator can delete a specific seller, advisory or farmer.


5.      User statistics

Administrator can also check the statistics of farmers registered for a specific crop in graphical form. For graphs java script library “High Charts” is used. Administrator can also download and print the graphs.


6.      Subscription requests moderation

As described in chapter 3, farmer will be able to get registered directly through website but registration request from mobile phone will be moderated. The purpose to moderate is to avoid invalid and fake registration. At web portal it is ensured through validations. Validations are implemented through JSF built in validations support.  Administrator can approve/reject the request. On approval of removal of request farmer will be notified with SMS.


7.      Translation Module

We are developing this system for the farmers of Pakistan. Majority of farmers cannot understand English. So in order to make system effective and create value for the farmer translation module is included in the system. Translation module uses the Google translation API 2.0 which is used commercially. You have to purchase the key before you can use the translation API to translate in Urdu.

When administrator will click the Urdu tab, the text in the textbox will be translated to Urdu.


8.      SMS history

History of sent and received SMS from portal is maintained. Administrator can view the history in the sent and received messages tab.


9.      News updates

Administrator can share the recent news as well. Administrator will add the news in the news panel module and news will be shown in the new section at the home page of the web portal.


SMS Gateway

We will be using Kannel as an SMS gateway server. Kannel is installed on the Linux Ubuntu 12.04. Installation, configuration, sending and receiving SMS detail is already described in my previous posts.

Automated SMS query response system

Automated query response is implemented in Java Server Pages JSP. First of all farmer can subscribe to the service by registration through SMS. After registration farmer can query seed information for a specific crop. When system receives the request, first of all system checks the crop for which farmer is requesting the seed information for. After the evaluation of request, system checks the database and retrieves specific seed information about the crops.  SMS is generated from the retrieved information and reply is sent to the farmer.


Agriculture is the backbone of Pakistan. Half of the population’s direct source of income is agriculture. Agriculture is facing a lot of problems nowadays, which is resulting in increase in poverty ratio every year. We have first investigated the complete lifecycle of farming and have tried to find solutions to the problem faced by the farmer throughout the life cycle. The communication gap between farmers and agricultural information providers is the actual problem identified in our research. We have developed a platform where farmers and agricultural information providers can communicate with much more ease as compared to typical communication methods. System is using the medium of mobile phone communication. Information provider can share the information on this platform where it will be stored. The stored information will be delivered to farmers through SMS. System has the functionality of automated query response feature which is very useful for the farmers. The system developed is first of its type in Pakistan. These systems are working effectively in other countries like Kenya, South Africa, Thailand and India. Information systems are contributing in the agricultural productivity across the globe. The developed system is unique in the sense that it has unique features like:

  • Automated web crawling
  • Farmer categorization on location and crop
  • Translation of the information in Urdu

System is cost effective as it uses SMS as a medium of communication. SMS communication is  very cost effective and is available all across Pakistan.

In Pakistan, we can overcome the communication gap between the agricultural information providers and farmers with the use of this system. By using this system farmer would be able to get the latest and valuable agricultural information on their mobile phones. It will increase the efficiency and productivity in the agriculture sector of Pakistan. Our platform provides all the necessary features to bridge the communication gap.


System we developed so far is only providing information related to seeds. System can also be extended to provide all the information necessary for farming. Information related to crop selection, land preparation, use of fertilizer and pesticides, weather forecast and market is most needed by the farmers. The system we have developed is so well designed that it can be extended to implement the various features which will provide all the other required information using SMS. Proposed extensions are

  1. Weather forecast
  2. Pest attack warnings
  3. Market rates update
  4. Schedule of water availability in the canals
  5. Personalization of information for the individual farmers
  6. Addition of agricultural experts in the system
  7. Mobile application for simple Nokia Symbian’s mobile phones
  8. Query response through voice mail
  9. Collaboration with Pakistan government

The system with proposed extension can be a mile stone in changing the life style of farmers and may lead to increased agricultural productivity in Pakistan. Real value of the system is that a large number of farmers facing similar problems can acquire the latest and pertinent information regarding the problem they are facing and its solution. This system can also help the agriculture product sellers to change their marketing strategies. Agriculture product sellers spend millions in printing the literature for advertisement of the products. With use of this system they can market their product efficiently and cost effectively. Use of Information Technology (IT) in agricultural information flow is completely a new field in Pakistan and it can play a significant role in achieving excellence in agriculture productivity.

Need your suggestions and feedback.

It is soley my own work. Please get permission before copying.

Copy Rights @Mahtab

How mobile phones are transforming African agriculture? Why can’t we in Pakistan?

23 Jan

First of all I was much much surprised about the maturity of mobile based agriculture services in Africa. Although I knew some of application using  mobile phones for agricultural   information delivery in Africa. I have recenlty gone through an article on http://www.howwemadeitinafrica.com  named as “How mobile phones are transforming African agriculture” . It contains the review of all the successful mobile phone based services operating in Africa.  After reading the article I am much much motivated that we  in  Pakistan can also transform our agriculture through the mobile phone based services.  It needs only some sincere efforts from Government and Private Sector both. There is no rocket science in  technology required for this purpose.  I have already developed system for this purpose but I need co-operation from some agriculture expert to make a successful bussiness plan. I already have a business plan but needs some consultation.

I am pasting here the same article. I have copied it only for the purpose awarness in this area in Pakistan.

Mobile phone technologies are presenting Africa’s smallholder farmers with an unprecedented opportunity to run their operations more productively and to grow their own income levels.

Ghana-based service Esoko sends farmers crop prices and supplies directly to their phones.

Ghana-based market information service Esoko provides farmers with crop prices directly to their phones.

Private companies, budding IT entrepreneurs, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as governments are all involved in a variety of mobile phone-based products, services and applications (small software programmes that users can access on their handsets) aimed at boosting small-scaleagriculture.

Market information systems

One of the largest challenges traditionally experienced by Africa’s smallholder farmers has been a lack of transparent information about the market prices of crops. A number of new mobile phone-based services is, however, addressing this problem by giving farmers access to market prices, enabling them to negotiate better deals with traders and improve the timing of getting their crops to market. These services typically include a function where famers can send a SMS text message to a specific number which then gives them wholesale and retail prices of crops.

Mobile-based market information systems have been around for a while. According to a document published by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), some of the first services were launched as early as 2002. The success of these earlier services has, however, been haphazard, largely because of lower mobile penetration rates at that stage as well as a lack of a viable business plans behind many of the projects. “A lot of the projects are donor funded and they haven’t got a viable business model on the other end. Once the funding runs out the ability to sustain the project or . . . application disappears,” says Matthew de Gale, ICT services manager at the Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT), an organisation also involved in developing mobile applications for farmers.

New generation of services

The explosion of mobile phones on the African continent and much reduced data costs, has led to the development of improved products for farmers.

One of the most successful technologies is arguably the Esoko service developed by Ghana-based BusyLab. Orginally established in 2005 as TradeNet, the company was rebranded as Esoko in 2009, operating on a new platform with a broader set of tools. In addition to providing access to market prices, farmers and traders can also place buy/sell orders. Esoko has attracted investment from the International Finance Corporation, the Soros Economic Development Fund and well-known Silicon Valley engineer Jim Forster. Through a variety of partnership agreements, the company currently has a presence in ninecountries on the continent.

“I think the potential to transform value chains and market access through mobile is enormous,” Forster said at the time of announcing his investment. “I believe this doesn’t need to be about aid in the sense we know it now. Here’s a local company building an innovative product to meet a local need and selling it in a profitable way. That’s how I want to see Africa develop its own markets and capacities, and that’s why I decided to support Esoko.”

Many of the new applications go beyond merely providing farmers with market information. Kenya’s M-Farm, developed by an all-girl team of developers, allows farmers to group together through their mobile phones to offer exporters and big retailers large quantities of crops. Farmers connected through M-Farm can also save on the cost of inputs such as fertilisers and pesticides by buying in bulk.

Earlier this month, in Ghana, the pilot phase of a programme called CocoaLink was launched by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), chocolate manufacturer The Hershey Company and the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF). The programme uses mobile technology to connect cocoa farmers with useful information about improving farming practices, farm safety, crop disease prevention, post-harvest production and crop marketing. Through voice and SMS messages delivered in their local language or English, cocoa farmers will receive the information at no charge. They also will be able to share information and receive answers to specific questions relating to their cocoa farming livelihoods.

In the area of livestock, SANGONeT is involved with an application that allows small-scale dairy farmers in East Africa to record the lactation history of their cows. This allows farmers to increase the sale price of their animals.

Access to insurance

Mobile phones are also being used to distribute agricultural insurance products to farmers, most of whom cannot afford conventional insurance. A product called Kilimo Salama, Swahili for ‘safe agriculture’, enables smallholder farmers in Kenya to insure their agricultural inputs against adverse weather conditions, such as drought or too much rain. Developed by UAP Insurance, the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture and mobile operator Safaricom, Kilimo Salama allows smallholder farmers to insure as little as one kilogramme of maize, seed or fertiliser. To be covered under the scheme, farmers only need to pay an extra 5% for a bag of seed, fertiliser or other inputs.

Mobile technology plays a central role in the scheme as it is used both for registration of new policies as well as for payouts. Kilimo Salama is distributed mostly through agro dealers that have been equipped with a camera phone that scans a special bar code at the time of purchase, which immediately registers the policy with UAP Insurance over Safaricom’s mobile data network. This innovative application then sends a SMS message confirming the insurance policy to the farmer’s handset. Payouts are determined by automated weather stations that monitor the rainfall. Based on the stations’ measurements and a predefined formula of crop rainfall needs, payouts are automatically made to farmers using Safaricom’s mobile money transfer service M-PESA. Farmers don’t have to fill out any claim forms. Since its official launch in 2010, the scheme has already made payouts to numerous farmers. Other insurance companies have since also introduced similar products.

It is expected that products like Kilimo Salama will increase productivity since only about half of Kenyan farmers invest in improved seeds and soil inputs. A key reason for the low demand is the fear among farmers that poor conditions, such as drought, will render their investment worthless, robbing them of both their crops and their savings.

“This ‘pay as you plant’ type insurance allows farmers to try out insurance, a product they have never bought before and which has a negative reputation in Kenya,” said the Syngenta Foundation in a statement. “Experience shows that as farmers learn to trust insurance, they expand their coverage and are comfortable investing more in their farm, raising their productivity and increasing their food security.”

I invite all the agricultural professional to co-operate with us regarding the development of such services in Pakistan. I must mention that agriculture Pakistan have great opportunities for “Entreprenurship”. Some come out to help Pakistan and raise our standards of livings.

Contact Me: +92-345-7055195

Email: mahtabrasheed195@gmail.com

References : here

Agriculture Marketing Information Service (AMIS) in Punjab Pakistan

18 Jan

As I have already emphasized on the importance of the use of IT (Information Technology) in  agriculture Pakistan for

1-Awareness of the farmer from cultivation to harvesting

2-Marketing of the crops afterwards

We have developed a mobile phone based information system for the farmers which use SMS as medium of communication. Our system focuses on the cheap delivery of the useful information for  farmers including seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and weather. We were unable to market our system. Although we wanted to work extend this system.


Now I am very glad that Punjab Government jointly with Punjab Information Technology Board  Agriculture Marketing Information Service (AMIS).

Purpose of Agriculture Marketing Information Service (AMIS) is to disseminate prices of agriculture commodities prices from 135 markets located across the province of Punjab. In 2010, Agriculture Department of Punjab decided to enhance the service by collecting international agricultural commodity prices and publishing these prices on AMIS. Exchange of Information across international exchanges and internal market places will enable AMIS to gain comparative analysis of local and international commodity prices and will also provide benefit to traders, exporters and other stakeholders. All the enhancements in AMIS have been made live effective 15th June, 2011.

Salient Features

  • Real time conversion of international commodity prices from U.S Dollars and Indian Rupee to Pak Rupee.
  • Storing closing prices of all agricultural commodities for historical reporting.
  • Improved reporting (tabular and graphical) of international commodity prices.
  • Publishing international commodity prices in Urdu language.

You can access AMIS here


It is very positive development in Pakistan. These type of systems and services are already working effectively in the World. Hope that this project may not victim of government inefficiency and dishonesty.


Some of my text is copied here

In next coming posts I will deeply go through the features and benefits of this AMIS.

Using mobile technology to improve farming skills in Thailand

19 Nov

Food of thought for Pakistanis

If Thailand can implement this system (described below ) successfully why not we? Agriculture is our back bone and we can educate our farmers through this type of service.

I need your suggestion / comments

Can this system be implemented in Pakistan?

If not what are the reasons?

Thai farmers can access useful information on agricultural developments by using the dtac service “*1677 Farmer Information Superhighway”.

Mrs Rungnabha Yordmai, a 36 years old rice farmer and subscriber of *1677, has received daily information on ‘rice cultivation’ since May 2009.

Free agricultural SMS updates

The subscription service “*1677 Farmer Information Superhighway” is free for Happy (dtac’s youth brand) and dtac customers. By subscribing to the service, farmers will receive SMSes to their mobile phones every day, containing updated agricultural information on

  • market trends
  • commercial crops
  • new farming techniques
  • interesting know-how
  • important news update
  • warnings on weather conditions etc.

The farmer’s can subscribe to three different topics: rice, fruits & vegetables and livestock & fishery.

By using this service, farmers gain knowledge to advance their farming skills and techniques that help them improve productivity, reduce costs, and increase income while also getting maximum benefits from mobile phone usage.

“I’m eager to learn about farming and agricultural techniques, but I seldom have the chance to attend any training courses. So I think it’s great to learn from *1677 as the info is sent daily to my mobile phone,” says Mrs Rungnabha Yordmai, a 36 years old rice farmer and subscriber of *1677. She has received daily information on ‘rice cultivation’ since May 2009. “It’s a convenient approach of providing information, but can also be a good comforting support to farmers.

Developed into a Mobile Application
The SMS service was introduced in 2008 by the Telenor Group Thai mobile operator dtac together with the Rak Ban Kerd foundation and the Ruam Duay Chuay Kan DFM Radio Station.

In 2012, the service was extended with a “Farmer Information” application available on iPhone and iPad. The application offers up-to-date agricultural information such as comparing product prices at the major markets in Bangkok. This enables farmers and consumers to keep track of the market development and to make the right buying and selling decision at the right time. The application aims to pave the way for online marketing or e-commerce in the future.

Experts’ consultation at help centre
Subscribers of the service may also access the information through the farmers’ help centre. The information centre, accessible across the nation, provides access to the network of 123 successful farmers and academics for experts’ consultation.

Traditional farming techniques
Thailand is an agricultural country with over 60 % of the population working in this sector. However, more than 80 % of the Thai farmers are still poor and in debt. This is because most of them still base their productivity on outdated farming processes and follow traditional farming techniques which imply:
•    high production costs
•    no marketing knowledge to sell their product
•    inefficient know-how to improve the farming techniques

*1677 empowers the farmers with knowledge
The Thai farmers living in remote areas tend to be too far away to gain new knowledge on agriculture. The *1677 Farmer Information Superhighway is thus adopted in order to solve these problems and empower the farmers with knowledge in their hands through the use of mobile phones.

Improving farming skills and techniques
Based on the techniques Mrs Yordmai has received from *1677 Farmer Info, she has applied self-made biological fertilizer on the same plot of land. The production cost and the cost of fertilizer have been significantly reduced with 67 % while gaining an increased production capacity of 40 %.

300,000 active subscribers
Since the launch of the service on 12 August 2008, there are more than 300,000 active subscribers in June 2012.

Seminars and workshops to establish farmers’ network
Apart from sending SMSes and having the service available as a mobile application, dtac and partners have also organized seminars and workshops to help the Thai farmers establish the “farmers help farmers’ network” and learn agricultural techniques based on the “sufficiency economy”. The workshops and seminars have been held in every region and there are more than 20,000 farmers from all over the country have joined the activities so far.

Samnuek Rakbankerd Farmer Awards
Once a year, dtac and its partners Samnuek Rakbankerd Foundation and Ruamduaychuaykan DFM Radio Network is handing out the Samnuek Rakbankerd Farmer Award. The award is granted to ten farming communities from every region of Thailand innovating agricultural products.  In 2011, there were more than 30 farming practices that submitted the applications for consideration. The winners of the award will be part of the network sharing knowledge and agricultural practices through the *1677 Farmer Information Superhighway services.

Shared value for the society
Studies by the Boston Consulting Group and Deloitte show that the telecom industry makes an important contribution to economic and social welfare and is an important driver of social and economic development.
“The “1677* Farmer Information Superhighway” is an excellent example showing how we successfully extend information and telecommunication technologies to the benefit of the society as a whole,” said Perapong Klinla-or, Vice President for Corporate Social Responsibility at dtac.

Award winning service

dtac and the *1677 Farmer Information Superhighway service has won several awards:

dtac wins ICT awards 2011

dtac wins ICT Excellence Award 2009

dtac wins Corporate Social Responsibility  award 2008

Socio-economic impact of telecommunication

Telenor Group has commissioned studies on the socio-economic impact of mHealth, mobile financial services, the Internet and of mobile communications. The findings show that the telecom industry is an important driver of social and economic development.

This article is copied from Telenore Thailand website.


Farming Life Cycle: Steps a farmer performs and what information is required at each step?

14 Nov


A farmer performs following eight major steps from crop selection to harvesting:

  1.  Crop Selection
  2.  Land Preparation
  3.  Seed Selection
  4.  Seed Sowing
  5.  Irrigation
  6.  Crop Growth
  7.  Fertilizing
  8.  Harvesting

The steps are also shown in Fig. 1.


Farmers typically rely on following sources of information:

  1. Agriculture department of provincial government.
  2. Fellow farmers.
  3. Field agents of seed, pesticide and fertilizer companies.
  4.  TV and radio programs.
  5. Newspapers.


Farmers typically face following challenges in receiving timely and personalized information:

  1.  Farmer has to travel to offices of agricultural department for information.  This is a costly and time consuming activity.  Availability of government officials is unpredictable.
  2. Radio or TV programs are broadcast at a predefined schedule which may or may not be convenient for the farmer.  Information should be available to the farmer on demand and should be personalized to his needs. Majority of farmers in villages either do not have access to newspapers or lack of education makes their access limited.
  3. Most of the information broadcast may not be specific to a farmer’s needs.
  4. Fellow farmers do not have the best or most up to date knowledge.
  5. Field agents of pesticide or seed companies are unable to pay frequent and timely visits to all farmers.


Farmers need information at each step form crop selection to harvesting. Information required by the farmers at each of these steps is presented next.

1 Crop Selection

  • Comparative pricing of different crops. For some crops government releases prices of the crop at the time of seeding.
  • Market demand and sale potential of the crop.
  • Budget required for the cultivation of each crop.
  • Feasibility of the crop considering climate and quality of land.
  • Crop productivity compared with other alternatives.

2 Land Preparation

  • Effects of any disease from the previous cultivation and steps needed to minimize this impact.
  • Fertilizers needed to bring land to its normal fertility depending upon the previous crops and fertilizer used.
  • Layout and design of the field with respect to crop for efficient irrigation.
  • Latest techniques for leveling the fields and their cost.

3 Seed Selection

  • Price and quantity needed per acre
  • Average yield and sprout to sown ratio.
  • Suitability to particular area and climate.
  • Water requirement.
  • Resistance to diseases.
  • Location of distribution offices for the seed.

4 Seed Sowing

  • Appropriate time to sow the seed.
  • Optimal weather conditions at sowing time.
  • Best method for the sowing of seeds.
  • Seed sowing depth.

5 Irrigation

  • Critical time for irrigation.
  • Amount of water to be given to the plants.
  • Frequency of irrigation.

6 Crop Growth

  • Number of plants per unit of area. At times more than optimum number of seeds sprouts are planted in a given area. Farmers must reduce density for healthy growth of plants.
  • Average growth rate of the crop in normal conditions.
  • Comparison of crop growth rate, leaf size, crop color etc. with expected growth for given conditions and input.
  • Interventions needed to maintain expected growth.
  • Frequency, quantity and method for fertilization.
  • Proper time, frequency and method for plowing.
  • Proper time, frequency and method for weeding.
  • Expected pest and virus attacks, symptoms of such attacks, precautionary measure that can be taken in advance to avoid these attacks, immediate actions including pesticide to be used to kill pests and viruses, quantity of pesticide to be used per acre,  most effective method for pesticide spray, avoid health issues related to pesticide spray.

7 Harvesting

  • Proper time and method for harvesting.
  • Comparative market rates.
  • Proper crop storage.
  • Cost of transportation.

Copy Rights  @Mahtab Rasheed

Problems of Agriculture Pakistan and Solution

8 Nov

Pakistan’s high potential for producing food is an internationally established fact.  However, agriculture sector in Pakistan is facing significant challenges.  Some of these challenges are:

  1. Communication gap between farmers and agriculture information providers including agricultural advisories and product sellers
  2.  Shortage of water, power and capital

Fortunately, progress in mobile communication and information technology has the potential to provide significant support to farmers in surmounting these challenges.  Some of the technologies that can be leveraged include: Mobile communication and smart consumer devices like phones, PDA’s etc.

Integrated use of these technologies can lead to optimization of individual farmer’s operations as well as accurate estimation of total farm production at district and farm level. A number of efforts have been made to leverage mobile communication to assist farmers. These efforts have had mixed results. One of the key short comings in these efforts has been a lack of analysis and understanding of farmers’ end-to-end information flow requirements.

Mobile phone is the most common means of communication that is available to every farmer across the country. Most farmers have access to mobile phones (price range from Rs.2500-3500) and mobile network coverage is quite widespread in the country (up to 70% penetration). So the information delivery to the farmers through mobile phones is most likely to resolve the communication gap among farmers and agricultural advisories.

Information about weather, seeds, trusted pesticide and fertilizer suppliers, pesticide sprays, crop diseases and their solutions, comparative pricing of crops and inputs, balanced fertilizers and marketing techniques is the information most needed by the farmers.

Copy Rights @Mahtab Rasheed. Please do not copy without permission.  Contact:mahtabrasheed195@gmail.com