DURING International Bio-diversity Day at The Green Market Santa Cruz last Saturday, several farmers had the opportunity to test a suite of experimental smartphone apps developed at UWI as part of a collaboration between the Department of Computing and Information Technology and the Department of Food Production.

AgriNeTT, the project, is a series of mobile apps which will help farmers geo-spatially understand the characteristics of their land and understand the most suitable crops to plant and will help them to track expenses and profitability of crops and learn about real time prices for their crops. The initiative was supported by blink | bmobile who provided the farmers with Android smartphones used to test the app.

The Green Market is dedicated to changing existing patterns of production and consumption by linking farmers directly to consumers and helping farmers to improve their agricultural practices. The AgriNeTT project is funded by the Research and Development Impact Fund of the University of the West Indies and is geared to improving information and technology tools available to farmers while providing mechanisms to inform policies related to Agricultural Planning and Food Security.

The Green Market demonstration was organized by René Jordan, module leader (AgriMaps) and lecturer at UWI’s Department of Computing and Information Technology and Vicki Assevero, executive director of The Green Market. Blink | bmobile was pleased to support this innovative use of technology as it further demonstrated the potential for communications technology to improve the productivity in Trinidad and Tobago’s agricultural sector.

AgriNeTT came alive as farmers were introduced to mobile apps developed by the UWI project team comprising Kiran Maharaj, Jherez Taylor, Omaira Avila-Rostant, and Gaius Eudoxie.

Putting the technology tools in the hands of local farmers, the team showed Green Market farmers how to use three apps – AgriExpense App, Market Watcher App and AgriMaps App.

“It is so exciting this cooperation especially as we celebrate the importance of preserving Trinidad’s biodiversity for farmers” said Ms Assevero. She also praised blink | bmobile’s Tisha Jack for her company’s progressive thinking. Farmers Michael Greenidge, Angela Sahadeo, Lisann Romany, Narvin Ramroop, Randall Joseph, Ben del la Rosa, were enthusiastic about the apps demonstrated by the team and promised to use their phones to test the ease of using these apps, designed to put useful information in the hands of farmers and help them to improve farm management.

The AgriExpense App gives farmers the ability to manage crops throughout the entire production cycle so that a clear picture of expenses and revenues can be recorded.

Market Watcher provides daily market prices of local produce and allows the farmer to select crops of interest and be alerted when the price of those crops change by a significant amount. The data is obtained from NAMDEVCO, who is also collaborating with AgriNeTT on these projects.

AgriMaps provide details on geographic features such as contours, soil characteristics and land use. It provides recommendations on crops most suitable for planting based on soil characteristics. Land management recommendations are also provided using the soil profile as the basis for the recommendation.

These apps are free for download from the Google Play Store. Interested persons can search keyword ‘agrinett’. For more information contact DCIT.Agrinett@sta.uwi.edu.

 

News Day