Project Everest

Data Collection

Josh Chia
Josh Chia | Jan 4, 2017 | in Knowledge Base

FarmEd aims to use IBM Watson to provide farmers with recommendations. In order to do so we need to collect data from a wide variety of sources. This includes real-time data such as weather and market data as well as knowledge based data from sources such as academic research or NGOs. 

Currently we are looking at collecting data from the following sources:

  • Weather
  • Market Pricing
  • Soil (pH, N, K, P)
  • Leaf Colour Charts
  • Soil Types
  • Location
  • News and Events
  • Disease
  • Pests
  • Articles (academic research, best practices, etc)

Over the coming days, the Cambodia FarmEd team will be conducting further interviews with the farmers to discover their pain points to determine the direction of the prototype. We will also be meeting with Servian (the app developer) to gain a better understanding of the data that needs to be collected and how it is to be managed.

One of the challenges we face during the prototyping stage is trying to achieve too much at once. In Cambodia, farmers are reluctant to conduct soil testing as they do not understand why it is important. It might be beneficial to provide an app which looks at real-time data such as weather, locations and news in order to provide initial recommendations such as optimal time for fertilisation before expanding to other features.

(Account removed) Jan 4, 2017

Love the data collection information guys, this is some real important stuff!
The one thing about soil testing is mainly it being for the overall health for the soil - crappy soil = crappy crop.
Weather is definitely something that will be key to look into for when to harvest such as providing early harvest days so that farmers can avoid losing all of their crop to bad weather, however don't rule out everything for soil! Soil tests will provide more initial/baseline information - such as what you are looking at with the optimal time for fertilisation, as over fertilisation is such a huge issue in most developing countries. When there are excess nutrients sitting in the soil from fertilising crops (when they think its actually good for the plant), over fertilising can actually kill the plants due to the way plants function (essentially they will uptake more than they need and imbalance their whole system). Soil tests will definitely be key in identifying the levels of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium thats in the soil that can be damaging to its over health/ability to grow crops.
But this is beautiful work guys, considering the leaf colour etc. is one great way to identify pest and potential disease issues so its absolutely awesome stuff the things you're coming up with! Hope Cambodia is doing swell!

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Wade Tink Jan 8, 2017

In line with Josh's comment above "farmers are reluctant to conduct soil testing as they do not understand why it is important" my suggestion is that we clearly articulate the value proposition of ongoing/one-off soil testing and consulting. It is clear that there are benefits as you have alluded to here Danica but getting them into layman's dog's terms in a quantifiable way seems like a potential next step.

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