How to develop a  Practical Agricultural  Information Management System Prototype (PAIMSP)




Pratik Bhattacharjee

Dept of Computer Science & Engineering

Academy of Technology

West Bengal, India.

bukaida@gmail.com

 

Nandini Mukherjee

Department of Computer Science & Engg.

Jadavpur University

Kolkata 700032, India

nmukherjee@cal2.vsnl.net

 

Anirban Ray Chaudhuri

CMATER, Department of Computer Science & Engg.

Jadavpur University

Kolkata 700032, India

ar_choudhuri@yahoo.co.in

 


Abstract – In an agriculture based country like India, the information technology has progressed a lot in recent past but still it is not connected significantly with the agricultural domain. In this paper we have presented a feasibility study on designing a prototype of an IT enabled Agricultural Information Management System which can be used in practice. It is to be developed with a balanced language policy  based on national and regional agricultural information systems in co-ordination with national focal points(Government policies) and other international organizations, as appropriate. The local language support is provided at the lowest tier (tier one).

 

Index Terms – Agricultural information system, e-governance, three tier architecture, farmer , government.

I.         Introduction

A.         Language

The system is to be developed based on the international standard of agricultural language and syntax known as AGROVOC or Agricultural vocabulary [1]. AGROVOC is a multilingual structured thesaurus of all subject fields in Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Food Security and related domains (e.g. Sustainable Development, Nutrition, etc). It consists of words or expressions (terms), in different languages and organized in relationships (e.g. "broader", "narrower", and "related"), used to identify or search resources. Its main role is to standardize the indexing process in order to make searching simpler and more efficient, and to provide users with the most relevant resources.

The AGROVOC Thesaurus [1-3] was developed by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the Commission of the European Communities (CEC), in the early 1980s. It is updated by FAO roughly every three months and users can see the specific changes on the AGROVOC website.

AGROVOC is available in the five official languages at FAO, which are English, French, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic. It is also available in Czech, Portuguese and Thai. Other languages such as German, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Hungarian, and Slovak, are currently either being translated or revised.

B.          Target People

The client base is wide range. Those who are directly involved with the agriculture; starting from cultivation to distribution of the yield will be benefited

. Particularly farmers, governmental departments including agricultural, planning and food, vendors, agro-fertilizers, researchers and NGOs[4 -5].

C.          Scope

The IT related Agricultural area is highly unexplored in India [4]. All the developed countries are using the information technology for the betterment of the agriculture. UNO and India government are now giving highest priority in agriculture. However no suitable unanimously acceptable model has been developed so far in India. The scope of going agriculture with Information Technology hand in hand is immense.

D.          Related Works

Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Ltd.(IFFCO)[6] in August, 2003  has developed and installed touch screen e-kiosk in different states of India. However the information in these kiosks are mostly static in nature and there is no direct instant communication between the farmer and the expert[7].

In November 2004, the Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited(VSNL) and IIT Kharagpur have launched a Grasso-Portal [8]which will contain some information related to farmers. Again this portal is also supply driven in nature than the demand led.

DRISTEE [9] in Delhi, has made a similar type of agri-portal and established a good network structure. Again it is mostly on commercial basis and does not help to bridge the gap of information between the government and the farmer.

In February 2005, the government of West-Bengal agricultural development authority and ministry of fisheries and ministry of horticulture has tied up with the government organization National Informatics Centre (NIC) to develop a full fledged IT based agricultural network which is claimed to fulfill the demands of the current scenario. Although the earlier such attempt by West-Bengal government was not successful (Banglar Mukh), this one (Banglar Krishi) promised to do better[10].

 

II.       FEASIBILITY ANALYSIS

As different commercial and Government organizations as well as the NGOs are working hard on this issue, the solution will definitely add a new edge to the present way of land cultivation [11].

 

A.         Cost-Benefit Analysis

The cost incurred in this process will not be much compared to the benefit achieved. As the process depends on existing technology and infrastructure, the additional cost for setting up the system will be minimized. Moreover the system will have a direct communication procedure to attend the personalized problems and the farmers can have a tailor-made solution rather than the general solutions. The project can generate job opportunities to the educated unemployed youths who will be taking care of the information centers. The system will help to reduce the wastage of corps as well as help the farmers to tackle complex situations. The benefit may be divided into two categories:

 

  • Producer/ Farmer
  • Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Category I- Producer/Farmer

 

Static Part:

1.        Financial aid & assistance (Agricultural and Irrigational Banking).

2.        Seed & their availability information.

3.        Weather information.

4.        Fertilizers.

5.        Energy support.

Dynamic Part:

1.        Consultation with expert.

2.        Information Hierarchy.

3.        Cold Storage statistics.

 

Category II- Government:

 

Article 243 G of the 11th Schedule of the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 entrusts Panchayats with responsibility for agriculture including agricultural extension. In addition, Panchayats will also have to attend to:

  • Land improvement, implementation of land reforms, land consolidation and conservation.
  • Minor irrigation, water management and watershed development.
  • Animal husbandry, dairying and poultry.
  • Fisheries.
  • Social forestry and farm forestry.
  • Minor forest produce.
  • Small-scale industries, including food-processing industries. [4 -5][12-14]

 

Besides taking care of the above aspects, the system will also perform---

 

1.        Instant monitoring.

2.        Monitoring of expected yield (Description from the Farmer) and Final Yield.

3.        Monitoring of channelization of information.

4.        Monitoring of distribution of fund.

5.        Directives and announcements.

 

The proposed system will try to bridge the gap between the academic world and the Government with the industry. It will be the one stop information centre for both the Government and the users. It will efficiently use the knowledge of the academic world and the expertise of the industry people[11].

 

The system will follow both the centralized and the distributed network at different levels. On the top level, it will be centralized in nature so that the information can be readily available from a single source. At the lower level(Block level), it will be as distributed as possible to get as much information as possible from different source[15-16].

 

.


B.          Key issues for developing this system

  1. Local language support.
  2. Easy access for users.
  3. A rich and evolving knowledge base.
  4. Extensibility and scalability.
  5. Reuse of existing public infrastructure.
  6. Standard inter-change formats.

 

  1. Technology upgrades.
  2. Self sustenance.
  3. Documentation.
  4. Continued Training.
  5. Endurance.

12.     Flexibility.

 


III.     THE PROPOSED ARCHITECTURE


The model may consist of a three-tier architecture as shown. As the agriculture is mainly the state level issue, the highest tier is the state[11][15-17].The local language support is provided in the lowest tier(tier 1).



IV.   CONCLUSION

The above model will satisfy the basic criteria stated above along with some additional functionalities. Every layer will be networked and proper hardware and software support should be provided to each layer. The NIC already has

established this structure known as NICNET in the upper layer[4]. Now extending that facility to the grassroots level requires simple modifications. Issues like electricity, temperature, dust, humidity etc should be properly addressed while installing the system. Implementing all the above conditions will make it a successful system for the future.

 

References

 

1.         “Towards better Semantic Standards for Information Management AGROVOC and the Agricultural Ontology   Service (AOS)” Second Consultation on Agricultural Information Management, Rome, Italy, 23 - 25 September, 2002 2pp. http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/MEETING/005/AC493E.HTM

2.         The Agricultural Ontology Service website  http://www.fao.org/agris/aos

 

3.         The AGROVOC website 

           www.fao.org/agrovoc

 

4.         DoIT.2002. Annual-Report2001-2002.Department of Information-Technology (DoIT), Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Government of India, New Delhi.

 

5.         Planning Commission. 2001. Approach Paper to the Tenth Five-Year Plan (2002-2007). Planning Commission, Government of India, New Delhi.

 

6.         The Telegraph, 7th December,2005

 

7.         The Telegraph, 23rd August,2003.

 

8.         Creating GRASSO web portal—21pp www.ficci.com/media-room/speeches-presentations/2004/nov/cifti-kolkata/preset.pdf.

 

9.         Drishtee Foundation   http://www.tribuneindia.com/2006/20060216/delhi.htm#5

 

10.       Banglar Krishi- http://in.news.yahoo.com/050407/43/2klxs.html

 

11.       Chaudhary Sanjay, Vikram Sorathia, Zakir Laliwala  "Architecture of Sensor based agricultural Information System for effective Planning of Farm Activities," scc, pp. 93-100, Services Computing, 2004 IEEE International Conference on (SCC'04), 2004..

 

12.       Shariff A. 1999. India Human Development Report: A Profile of Indian States in the 1990s. National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), Oxford University Press, New Delhi.

 

13.       World Bank. 1992. Gender and Poverty in India. World Bank Country Study. The World Bank, Washington DC.

 

14.       “Jai Kisan”, a draft on national policy for farmers from  National  Commission on farmers, Ministry of  Agriculture,  Government of India, New Delhi,  Vaisakhi, 13 April, 2006.

 

15.       Dent, J. B. And Blackie, M. J. (1979) Systems   Simulation in Agriculture. Applied Science Publishers Ltd., London, 180 pp.

 

16.       “Ahmed, R., Albert, J., Du, W., Kent, W., Litwin, W.and Shan, M.C., 1993. An Overview of Pegasus.In  the 3rdInternational Workshop on Research Issues and Data Engineering: Interoperability in Multidatabase  Systems, pages 273-277, Vienna, Austria, April 1993 EEE Computer Society Press.

 

17.       ESRI, 1994. Introducing Avenue. Environmental   Systems Research Institute Ltd., Redlands, CA,  120 pp.

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