Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

eSagu 1: An IT Based Personalized Agricultural Extension System Prototype - Analysis of 51 Farmers' Case Studies

Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

eSagu 1: An IT Based Personalized Agricultural Extension System Prototype - Analysis of 51 Farmers' Case Studies

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

To bridge the information gap between the agricultural expert and the farmer, International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad has built the eSagu ("Sagu" means cultivation in Telugu language) system, which is an IT-based personalized agricultural extension system to improve agricultural productivity by disseminating a fresh expert agricultural advice to the farmers, both in a timely and personalized manner. In e-Sagu, the agricultural experts generate the expert advice based on the information about the crop situation received in the form of both text and digital photographs. In Kharif2 2004, a prototype was developed and implemented with 1051 farms. In the prototype, a team of agricultural experts stayed at IIIT, Hyderabad (India) and delivered 20,000 pieces of agricultural expert advice to 1051 cotton farms of three villages (Oorugonda, Gudeppad and Oglapur) in Atmakur Mandal of Warangal district in Andhra Pradesh state, India, by looking at digital photographs and other farm information supplied by some educated and experienced farmers (coordinators) in these villages. The pilot project was implemented successfully. In this article, an analysis of 51 registered farmers' regarding compliance of advices and corresponding effect is reported. The following of expert advice on pest and disease management and IPM practices were analyzed by giving appropriate scores based on their effect on yield and input cost. The analysis showed that about fifty percent of farmers have followed the practices which increase yield and reduce input cost. A high positive correlation (r=0.46**) was observed between the compliance rate and the yields. Though some farmers obtained same yield as the farmers who have followed the advices, their input costs were significantly higher.

Keywords: eSagu; ICT; human capital; T&V System; knowledge system; information system; factor analysis.

INTRODUCTION

Indian farming community is facing a multitude of problems to maximize crop productivity. In spite of successful research on new agricultural practices, the majority of farmers is not getting upper bound yield due to several reasons. One of the reasons is that expert/scientific advice regarding crop cultivation is not reaching farming community in a timely manner. It is true that India possesses a valuable agricultural knowledge and expert advice. However, a wide information gap exists between the research level and practice. Indian farmers need timely expert advice to make them more productive and competitive.

To bridge the information gap between the agricultural expert and the farmer, International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad (http://www.iiit.ac.in) has built the eSagu ("Sagu" means cultivation in Telugu language) system (http://www.esagu.in), which is an IT-based personalized agricultural extension system to improve agricultural productivity by disseminating a fresh expert agricultural advice to the farmers, both in a timely and personalized manner (Reddy and Ankaiah, 2005, Reddy et al.2004). In e-Sagu, the agricultural experts generate the expert advice based on the information about the crop situation received in the form of both text and digital photographs. These photographs are sent by some educated and experienced farmers in the village. In 2004, a prototype of 1051 cotton farms was developed and implemented. In the prototype, a team of agricultural experts has stayed at IIIT, Hyderabad (India) and delivered 20,000 pieces of agricultural expert advice to 1051 cotton farms of three villages (Oorugonda, Gudeppad and Oglapur) in Atmakur Mandal of Warangal, in Andhra Pradesh State, India, by looking at digital photographs and other farm information supplied by some educated and experienced farmers (coordinators) in these villages. The project was successfully implemented (Reddy et al. October 2005, Reddy et al, December 2005).

THE eSAGU SYSTEM AND ITS OPERATION

In eSagu, instead of agricultural expert visiting the crop, the crop situation is brought to the agricultural expert using both text and digital photographs. …

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