Thursday, October 9, 2014

New mobile app for farming developed

By Charisma Love B. Gaddo

Farming gets more high-tech with the mobile applications (app) being developed by information technologists in Nueva Ecija, the country’s rice granary.

Android mobile app that can do three functions: measure farm area, calculate fertilizer needs, and assess nitrogen deficiency garnered the Most Innovative Application and the Special Jury Award during the recent AGRI-Hackathon hosted by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).

“With this app, estimates will be lessened. It is important for the farmers to know their exact farm area to optimize it; while fertilizer application must also be accurate for crop’s health and to avoid unnecessary fertilizer expenses,” developers Jermaine M. Germino and Michael L. De Guzman said.

The mobile app also incorporated the principles of Leaf Color Chart (LCC) or the four-stripped plastic “ruler” used in assessing nitrogen status of rice plant.

Germino and de Guzman, instructors of the Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology (NEUST), said that instead of comparing the color of the leaves with the ruler, the farmer will now take photos of the leaves for the app to analyze.

“In seconds, accurate assessment will be generated,” they said.

Meanwhile, the E-Survey app by team Agrisive of the Central Luzon State University was given the Best Research and Survey Management Application. This application contains an e-form that respondents fill up based on the researchers’ information needs.
The I-Tanim of the I-Tech team from NEUST also received the Best Farmer Information Technology Application. I-Tanim is an e-book in a single app containing the LCC, PalayCheck, tutorials on selecting seeds, and mini-encyclopedia on plant disorders.

The mobile applications are being further developed.

AGRI-Hackathon is a competition for information technologists to create either web or mobile app.  Microsoft Philippines, Eqela, Blackberry, Freelancer, and PhilRice sponsored the event.

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