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 International Journal of Education and Development using ICT > Vol. 2, No. 1 (2006) open journal systems 


eSagu: An IT based personalized agricultural extension system prototype - analysis of 51 farmers' case studies

Venkata Ratnam Bachu, International Institute of Information Technology, India
Krishna Reddy Polepalli, International Institute of Information Technology, India
G.S. Reddy, International Institute of Information Technology, India


Abstract
An IT based agricultural extension system has been started and worked from June 2004 by the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, India, with an objective to develop cost-effective, agricultural information dissemination system (AgrIDS) to disseminate expert agriculture knowledge to the farming community to improve the crop productivity. In this system agricultural advice will be delivered based on crop photographs and other farm information provided by a trained educated farmer. The system along with other advantages has an advantage of providing individual farmer’s data arranged chronologically as farm history. The system as a prototype has successfully been tested at Oorugonda, Gudeppad and Oglapur villages in Atmakur mandal of Warangal district in Andhra Pradesh state, India, during Kharif season, 2004 on cotton crop covering one thousand farms. After the pilot project successfully met its designed objectives in delivering agricultural expert advices to all the registered farmers, 51 Individual farmers’ case studies have been made to see the compliance rate of the project. By making factors like climatic and farm management as uniform, individual farm advises for the pest and disease management from the farm history has been taken to see the rate of compliance. Expert advises were scored as positive and negative based their effect on yield and input cost. Study indicates that many farmers have taken up unnecessary sprays, used high cost chemicals for the pest management and on an average only 50 % of the farmers followed the expert advice for the pest and disease management in cotton crop. Out of all the studied farmers, 53 % of the farmers got total positive scores indicating that these farmers followed the practices which increase yield and reduce input cost and rest 43 % secured total negative scores. There was a positive correlation existed between the yields and compliance rate. Input cost of the farmers under negative scores was higher than the farmers with positive scores under the same yield levels. Illiteracy, poor economic condition, lack of awareness about the scientific farming are some of the growth hindering factors identified in the studied farming community. Key words: IT, agricultural expert advice, compliance rate, scores and yield


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International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology. ISSN: 1814-0556