Feasibility study for the development of an innovative Smart-farming app for smallholders in developing countries. (Agriculture-Productivity-Project) ‘APP’

Abstract

"Across Africa and in developing countries generally, dynamics of culture, lack of access to finance and poor information dissemination preclude smallholders from best-in-class sustainable farming practices.The project aims to develop a D4Ag (Digitalisation for Agriculture) Smart Farming APP using Smart technologies including machine learning/artificial intelligence and data analysis to enable smallholders in developing regions to access integrated, site specific sustainable farming information, boundary mapping facilities and early disease identification resources. The productivity, welfare and route to market of smallholder farmers will be enhanced by a holistic accessible resource of agri-data and sustainable farming advice.

These farmers find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle of poor productivity and poverty, this is particularly the case for women and young farmers. For example, in Nigeria [insect pests and diseases][0] in [yams][1] resulted in a 25% mean annual yield loss in 2003\. Early disease identification via the app will improve smallholders' productivity and profits. Access to disease identification and strategies to mitigate adverse climatic conditions for smallholders, together with information accessibility for improved market access will improve the current under exploitation of smallholder resources.

The increased yield through informed farming decisions via the smart farming APP will create the potential for improved wealth across gender boundaries, enabling women and youth to directly access the information they need to run efficient smallholdings, thus by-passing the patriarchal traditions of information dissemination prevalent in West Africa and developing countries.In a future of uncertain food supply, climatic change and the need for increased efficiency in farming methods, the APP will encourage smallholders to use innovative Smart Farming and precision farming techniques thereby reducing waste, increasing yield, improving the productivity, efficiency and autonomy of smallholders and introducing other uses for existing biomass production and processing.
As the effects of climate change spread, and the global population continues to grow and become urbanized, it is imperative that farmers in these regions, who are the mainstay of rural communities, become successful in the future.

[0]: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/insect-diseases
[1]: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/yam"

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Pci Technology Investments Ltd £142,595 £ 99,817
 

Participant

Manchester Metropolitan University £137,018 £ 137,018
Zyba Limited, BRIDGWATER £88,672 £ 62,070
Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Nigeria £88,317 £ 88,317

Publications

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