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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Ruchinilo from IIT Guwahati made an agricultural app for mobile Get Timely Advice & Assistance from Experts

One Man Made an App to Help Farmers Get Timely Advice & Assistance from Experts around the Country
In April 2015, Ruchinilo graduated from IIT Guwahati with a Masters in Development Studies
What’s more impressive is that the entire initiative required no funds: “I have a background in programming and assembled the app myself, using open data sources,” Ruchinilo says.
“If I buy phones to give them, they will have a sense of indebtedness to me. They will think of it as an act of charity and will not have a feeling of ownership, of entitlement about it,” explains Ruchinilo.
Determined to ensure that the farmers developed a sense of ownership about the project and viewed him not as a donor but as a partner in their development, Ruchinilo urged the farmers to pitch in and buy common smartphones or use existing phones for their respective communities.
“I used Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the form of a mobile interface to develop an app for farmers where, if they are facing any problems, they can reach out to experts. They can also use the app to create reports about their farm and build a knowledge bank. This will prove to be very useful to the communities in the future,” he explains.
“The objective is to connect farmers with individuals who are experts in the agriculture sciences in order to promote knowledge sharing and sharing of best farming practices,” Ruchinilo elaborates.
With the app, a farmer can reach out to five experts in different parts of the country. He can communicate using photographs, videos or even text messages in his mother tongue.
Queries and requests for help from the farmers are then picked up by the Cloud. These make their way to Ruchnilio and his team, who filter the messages and direct them to the appropriate experts.
The project was launched in October 2015 and, in just eight months, the app has already met with resounding success. “In the months of January and February, we saw close to five or six queries from farmers a day,” Ruchinilo says.
The app has helped 44 farmers in nine villages across Udaipur district connect with experts who can help them efficiently navigate the choppy waters of being a farmer in India.

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