Project Title: Farmer Guidance System (FGS)
Team Name: Invincible
BACKGROUND AND PROBLEM STATEMENT:
About 50 years earlier, agricultural sector was not considered as a commercial sector for economic development in a large number of developing and developed nations. During the last 50 years this sector is realized as a major productive sector of Pakistani economy. 61% population is living in more than 50,000 villages in Pakistan. According to Economic Survey of 2012 backward agricultural sector contributes 20.9 % to GDP. It employs the 45.0 % of total labor force. Its contribution to exports (Food Group) is 8.62 %. In these days Agriculture sector provides employment to major portion of our labor force. More than 45.0% of our labor force is directly involved in agriculture sector, while 66.7% of our rural population is dependent on agriculture. Agricultural sector is the backbone of our economy. Despite being the fifth richest country in water resources, Pakistan is estimated to be losing 13 million cusecs of water every year from its rivers into the sea, as it does not have enough reservoirs or dams to store water. The archaic method of flood irrigation is still in practice in whole of the country which wastes almost 50% to 60% of water.
But the growth of agriculture in Pakistan is facing a lot of problems such as techno-economic problems, natural problems, socio-economic problems and financial problems. Due to various causes, per acre yield is very low in Pakistan as compare to other developed countries. The most important problem of agriculture is its low yield per hectare for almost every major crop. 45.0% of labor force is engaged in this sector in Pakistan while it is less than 5% in developed countries. But, other countries of world are getting higher yield per hectare due to use of modern technology and trained labor.
The main causes for such low yield per hectare are given below.
(1) Our farmers are mostly illiterate, uneducated and untrained.
(2) They don’t have proper weather information.
(3) They don’t have proper field water level information.
(4) They don’t have proper market related information. Our farmers also unaware of the supply and prices of modern inputs like high yielding variety (HYV) seeds, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, mechanized machinery etc. Because of such awareness our farmers often purchase the irrelevant product on a high cost and
To overcome the identified problem (given above) we will develop a system named “Farmer Guidance System (FGS)”. FGS will be web enabled system. FGS will comprise of sensors, desktop application, weather forecasting sensors and SMS gateway. FGS will inform the farmers about weather information, water level information, the prices and availability of modern inputs like high yielding variety (HYV) seeds, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, mechanized machinery etc. Using this system farmer can water their fields in an accurate manner. This system will guide the farmers whether to give water or not. Hence, the wastage of water can be reduced using FGS. This system will help in reduction of crop destruction as well. This software will also automatically control the tube wells or water barriers based on suggestions by the FGS (by seeing weather conditions or current water level)
In FGS we will deploy sensors in the field or limited area. The sensors will acq uire water level information from the fields and dams and store that information in a centralized database. Weather forecasting web service will acquire weather related information and store that information in a centralized database. Based upon the acquired information the system will produce the recommendation for farmers to water in the field. This desktop version is basically for people who knows English and can afford PCs in fields.
As in Pakistan few people know English and less aware of technology, for them we will design mobile based guidance system. Farmers can retrieve weather and market prices related information using their mobile. Simply they take their mobile and send SMS to centralized FGS and in reply FGS will send the current recommendations to farmers’ cell phones. FGS will be connected with SMS gateway. For example farmers just need to send an
SMS by writing some tags for example “W” for weather forecasting and suggestions, centralized system receive that SMS and reply viva SMS to that request (reply will be in Urdu version) and for “MXX” reply will be about market price information of sender city where XX is name of product. The distributors of HYV seeds, chemical fertilizers, pesticides and mechanized machinery will also be provided the centralized web enable interfaces through which they can add and edit the products, its’ prices and other related information.
To conclude, the mission of this system is to provide the updated and valuable information a bout the weather, water, HYV seeds, fertilizers, buyers of crops, etc to farmers, so that per acre yield of crops can be increased in Pakistan like other developed countries.
UNIQUENESS OF FARMER GUIDANCE SYSTEM (FGS):
In developed countries such types of systems are being used extensively in helping farmers in producing the high yield of crop per hectare. But unfortunately here in Pakistan there is no such system and such technological systems are not being used to increase the yield of crop per hectare. There is no such system that will help Pakistani farmers to get the required information such as weather, water level, seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, etc via their cell phone. After this system farmers can get the relevant and accurate information in couple of seconds. There is no such system still in Pakistan that will help farmers in buying the required raw material at reasonable prices from a particular distributor. Our system will address such issue as well. There is no such system that will help farmer to sell their finished products at reasonable prices. Our system will also address this issue. To summarize, the unique features of our system are given below;
(1) FGS will provide updated weather information
(2) FGS will provide updated water level information
(3) FGS will be helpful in managing tube-wells, canals, fields, etc
(4) FGS will provide updated prices of fertilizers, seeds, pesticides, etc.
(5) FGS will help in high yield per hectare of crop
(6) FGS will provide the centralize web interfaces to distributors for price and product updates
(7) FGS will provide SMS gateway services for less educated farmers
(8) FGS will provide hardware interfacing that will be used to gather the weather and wate r level information.
(9) FGS will also provide the recommendations to farmer about water quantity to water the fields.
(10) FGS will also provide the reporting and analysis module.
Figure 1: Farmer Guidance System Screenshot