Hyderabad, Aug. 27:
Rice, one of the oldest harvested crops, still relies on very old farming traditions. But soon, rice farmers are set to get Internet savvy as they can download a few Apps on their mobile phones that can help them diagnose pest attacks and get the right prescription of fertilisers.
Rice Knowledge Management Portal (RKMP), run by the Directorate of Rice Research (DRR), is running a pilot on a diagnostic App that works on Android phones. The second App is on fertiliser recommendation and the third one is a slew of knowledge capsules. It provides vast data on eight categories of information on selection of varieties, land prescription, nutrition, water and pests.
“We expect the first App to be ready on January 1, 2014,” Shaik N. Meera, a senior DRR scientist who heads the portal, told Business Line.
RKMP runs a portal on rice, the single largest portal for any crop in the country, with a huge repository of knowledge on rice. Launched two years ago, the initiative under the National Agricultural Innovation Project built the portal with information gathered from 106 rice research centres across the country.
The content is available in Bengali, English, Marathi, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu. The portal contains 6,000 minutes of audio content in all these languages. “Farmers can get information on what varieties should be grown on their lands. Policy makers can look for historic data on productivity and yield. Researchers can find past data on multi-location trials,” he said. The portal contains images of the crop at different stages. The images include the disease-hit plants.
“Farmers can simply take an image on their phones and compare it with a relevant image on the portal. A suitable prescription too is provided accordingly,” he said.
Based on the frequently asked questions at the Kisan Call Centre (1551), the portal narrowed down the common problems that bother the paddy farmers to 489 and provided detailed answers.
“We have analysed some 11,000 questions that they received at the call centre,” he said.
Keeping in view the bandwidth issues and other constraints, RKMP also developed all the content in CDs in order to make it available offline that are being distributed for free to non-governmental organisations and the other agencies in need.
Courtesy : http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/agri-biz/pest-a...