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.
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.