Wednesday, 10 April 2013

‘Smart Agriculture’ to overcome vagaries of weather

The Hindu reports on technological developmentsa aimed at helping small and marginal farmers across the Indian state of Kerala to tackle the vagaries of climate-dependent agriculture. Researchers at the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) and the International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS) have joined hands to develop a technology-assisted system to generate detailed information on soil and agro-climatic conditions. Named Smart Agriculture, the project seeks to utilise precision farming methods to improve crop output.

The researchers are working on an IT-enabled system to provide real time data on soil and micro weather conditions. The Cloud-based platform will be based on sensors installed in each plot to keep a constant tab on different variables. ICFOSS has developed the prototype of a solar-powered remote station for monitoring soil and atmospheric conditions. Working on Open Source hardware and software, it automatically uploads data to the Cloud.

“Precision farming requires specific information on the state of the atmosphere and soil, in terms of parameters such as temperature, humidity, soil pH, rainfall, soil salinity, and wind vector (speed & direction). The data can be used to provide advisories for farmers depending on the type and age of crops they have planted,” says Satish Babu, Director, ICFOSS.

Read the rest of the article here.