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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Mobile App to help Cordillera farmers monitor oversupply of vegetables in advance

Cordillera - The use of technology for the farmers to monitor the production of vegetables will greatly help in the averting of vegetables being over supplied in the market.

The first week of January 2019 had been catastrophic to majority of vegetable farmers in Cordillera as they suffered the most brutal effect of vegetable oversupply - the inability for them to sell their produce to the market.

Farmers are aware that if they plant the same crops at the same time, this would cause oversupply of vegetables. They also know that  vegetable  over supply is the major cause of reduced  price and worst discarded by buyers.

Unfortunately, these farmers don't have the necessary  tools to help them foresee and make plans about the crops they should plant or produce at a given time  to avoid vegetable oversupply.

If farmers could just have a data presented to them in real-time and  accessible anytime, it could help them decide  and plan  about the best crops to plant. This can tremendously help them know which type of crops has already been planted by the rest of the farmers in a particular area. This way, they can avoid planting the same crops. If for example, majority of farmers had planted potato in Buguias, farmers from Sayangan would know this and they will plant another vegetables other than potato.

According to the Department of Agriculture - CAR, they have a 'crop survey' report gathered from all local government units involved in vegetable production that will allow farmers to manage the supply of vegetables.

The crop survey is a report that shows how many farmers have planted a particular crop, how large is the area being planted, how long will it take before each vegetables will be harvested and also the target date that the vegetables will be harvested.

This report from the D.A. is almost complete and this is what all farmers need to know and have access to before choosing and deciding what crops to plant.

Creating a Mobile App that provides this survey report to the farmers is a great suggestion for the D.A. to consider.  This is an App that a farmer can download and access data in real-time. Each farmer will then be able to see and study the data presented in detailed form either in charts or tables.

Added to the app is a useful feature that would also project the demand of  particular vegetables in the market. The D.A. in collaboration with the officials of the  La-Trinidad Trading Post and BAPTC may collect data on crops with high demands in a particular period of the year. Such data will  be used by the farmers to decide on what vegetables to plant.

To provide for a wider scope of survey and to make the app more farmer-friendly is to include a survey form for the farmers to input necessary data regarding the crops they planted such as kinds of crops, location of farms or municipality and province, estimated volume to be harvested, projected time of harvest and the price of the vegetables.

Farmers may also create an account in the app so that they can show their personal information, vegetable information (as provided earlier), photo of his/her farm and contact numbers for marketing purposes.

The app may also have  features that vegetable dealers and buyers alike can access. It can have a search bar that allows buyers to search for vegetables they want to buy.  Say for example, if a buyer is looking for potatoes to sell, he can open the app, search for potato, then the data of all farmers who planted potato will be projected. He can view the farm, contact the farmer and negotiate that upon harvest, the farmer will deliver the vegetables straight to the buyer. No middle-man is involved and bigger income for the farmer.

With the collaboration of PAGASA, the app can also display weather-forecast two or three months in advance so that farmers will have an advance planning on how they can prepare for a storm or typhoon.

The app can also provide crop management to farmers. Say for example, when farmers need more information about dealing with  pests or other problems, they can just open the app, type in the name or kinds of the pests, then an information will be presented to them in an easy to understand step by step way to deal with the pests.

Sounds cool right? Yeah, we believe we have some I.T professionals and developers that can do this and the D.A. can possibly work this out.

Let's hope that this simple recommendation to the D.A will reach Secretary Manny Pinol for him to consider and learn about the importance of this app.

Likewise, we know Cordillera has the best universities and colleges teaching web and app development. For the teachers,  please do encourage your students to consider making worthwhile projects such as apps like this as it could greatly help our farmers in the Cordillera.

Contributed article by || @concernedCitizen

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