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How using the FarmPrecise app is proving useful to farmers

Within the limits of their capacity for climate change adaptation, farmers can finally use the FarmPrecise application to gain access to vital information that will help them locally. Efforts to gain access to and utilise appropriate agricultural knowledge using ICT tools such as FarmPrecise result in agriculture that is more climate-resilient and better adaptable to changing climatic conditions

Farmers face a variety of issues during the crop growth stage, which are primarily influenced by the local weather. In the context of climate change and the development of new technologies, the challenges are three fold: access, utility, and adaptation capacity. Farmers require decision-making information and the timely availability of such information is critical to resolving problems.

Farmers frequently request weather forecasts and market rates, while fertigation (injection of fertilizers, used for soil amendments, water amendments and other water-soluble products into an irrigation system) and pest-disease management information is requested on occasion. This information is still critical because severe crop losses can occur in a short period of time.

Farmers’ information needs can thus be classified as continuous or intermittent. Typically, intermittent information is critical because a farmer must manage farm activities such as pest and disease management, fertigation, and irrigation in a short period of time, but such information influences the farmer’s entire season. Weather and market information, on the other hand, are perennial in demand.

Another aspect of the farmer’s requirements is the utility of the information. The utility of market rate updates differs from that of agricultural news. Some information must be used frequently, while others must be used less frequently. Farmers are able to make crucial decisions regarding sowing, fertigation, irrigation, harvesting, etc when they have timely access to weather, market rates, pests, and diseases information.

Due to climate change, farmers must contend with sudden, heavy, and uneven precipitation. This impacts decisions regarding spraying and harvesting. Managing human and economic resources requires a great deal of time. In such situations, weather-related information is extremely useful. Till recently, Laxman, a farmer from Kukkadgaon in Osmanabad had been consistently cultivating onions. However, when faced with changing and unexpected weather forecasts, he cancelled onion transplantation in good time and was able to save his crop.

Sima and Gavlat, two young farmers from Osmanabad in Maharashtra used weather forecasting information from FarmPrecise to determine when to harvest their crops and thus avoided crop losses. C.H. Reddy, a farmer from Telangana, describes with excitement how he saved money on pesticides by cancelling spraying based on the application’s weather forecast. At different crop stages, the same aspect of weather forecasting is advantageous in different ways. Farmers determine necessary actions based on the weather forecast.

Managing pests and diseases is an essential task for farmers. As incorrect solutions may result in total crop loss or an increase in cultivation practices, it is prudent to take preventative measures and minimise crop damage. The economic threshold level calculator and crop-pest disease library in the FarmPrecise application assist farmers in deciding whether to take preventative or curative measures. The application recommends field pheromone traps and crop traps, along with implementation steps.

Numerous farmers gain from such preventative measures. Laxman Mankar, a farmer from Osmanabad, Maharashtra, implemented all of the organic practices recommended by the FarmPrecise application, resulting in fewer crop pest-disease infections and lower spraying expenses.

Last year, Suresh, a farmer from Telangana, utilised the FarmPrecise application to track his crop-specific expenses and earnings. He used the application for all his crops. Now he comprehends total expenditures, and the loss or profit he can make on various crops. This assists him in deciding which crop to cultivate and where to plant it.

Harshal Patil and Anand Rote regularly monitor FarmPrecise updates. The use of the application contributed to a shift in their attitude toward agriculture. They benefitted as follows:

  • They are now aware of where to look for pests and diseases. The negative aspects of plant leaves, stems and roots, as well as where and what to look for, are now crystal clear to them.
  • They now have their own library, which aids in pest and disease identification.
  • They are now familiar with various crop pests and diseases, as well as their various stages and appearances.
  • They can help other farmers identify the type of crop pest disease that has infected their farms and take the appropriate preventative measures.

Thanks to the FarmPrecise application, farmers can now make swift and effective decisions in the light of climate change. Small updates, such as wind direction or extreme events, assist farmers with their decision-making. Reduced crop losses are possible as a result of the application’s customised and individualised weather advisories that take into account changing local weather conditions.

Note: Established in 1993, WOTR is an internationally recognised non-profit and think tank organisation whose goal is to ensure water and food availability, along with livelihoods and income security, to support the sustainable growth and well-being of vulnerable and disadvantaged communities in rural India. As of September 2022, WOTR has worked in 10 states, 4395 villages, impacted over 4.43 million people and trained approximately 521000 people (including from 63 countries). On the ground, over 1.82 million hectares of degraded landscapes/watersheds have been regenerated, over 158 billion litres of potential water harvesting capacity has been created, and agriculture productivity has increased significantly with a 121 per cent increase in area under triple cropping. Farm incomes in most project villages are two to four times more than those in control villages. WOTR has also facilitated over 13185 SHGs involving nearly 160000 women.

(Courtesy: WOTR blog)

January 2023