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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Mobile apps to improve agriculture

FARMERS can now take full advantage of the onset of technology as mobile apps designed to improve agriculture have been developed by young Filipino information technology experts.

The two Android mobile solutions were “FarmHelp” and “Krops,” both will be acquired by the Department of Agriculture (DA) as Secretary Manny Piñol believed that these two major innovations “could revolutionize Philippine agriculture.”

The apps, when installed will give Filipino farmers access to any information about plant and animal diseases and the weather forecast, and also guide him on where to sell his products or buy his farm supplies.

'FarmHelp'

Developed by the group who designed the PureForce, an app used for emergency and rescue operations, "FarmHelp" was designed to fit the new program of the agriculture department to update its technology transfer and information dissemination.

"Using FarmHelp apps, a farmer can have access to a 24/7 answering program which would respond to his request for him in identifying the disease affecting his farm by simply taking a picture of the plant and sending it to the DA FarmHelp desk," Piñol said.

After, experts will analyze the disease based on the photo and will respond to the farmers within 24 hours.

Piñol said the automatic geo-tagging which will immediately pinpoint the exact location of the farmer sending the message will determine the success of the program.

Thus, if the complaint is about a damaged irrigation canal, DA responders could immediately dispatch a regional team to the area.

"Krops"

A team led by young agribusiness entrepreneur Joseph Calata developed the "Krops," involved in the establishment of a chain of agricultural supply stores across the country.

The Krops will assist the farmer or the buyer of the farmers' products access to information on who is buying, who is selling, how much, and the location of the buyer or the seller.

Pinol said by pressing a commodity icon which showed eggs, the "Krops" app immediately asked "Buying?" or "Selling?" When he pressed "Selling," the location of the buyers near the location of the "farmer" was immediate shown on the screen including the complete address, the volume required and the buying price.

"This is the perfect answer to the problem bedeviling the Filipino agricultural producer who has always been at the mercy of the middlemen and the traders," Piñol added.

"After these, Philippine agriculture will never be the same again," the secretary added. (ASP)
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