Enhancing Farming activities using Social Life Networks
Often farmers, especially in developing countries make sub optimal decisions relating to production and distribution phases of the forming life cycle activities due to lack of information and knowledge. This has resulted in not getting the right market price, lost of harvest, oversupply of a particular crop bringing market prices down etc. These problems are causing severe financial hardships to farmers. Technology can play a vital role in eradicating poverty by assisting the economic growth. Recently published statistics show that there is a very high penetration of mobile phones in developing countries. In Sri Lanka which is the deployment test bed for this project, in December 2010 around 80% of the population had mobile phones. In this project using action research approach we are investigating ways to provide required information to farmers to make informed decisions at the right time using mobile based Social Life Network.
Development of an Agricultural Ontology for Social Life Networks
In many developing countries agriculture plays a major role in the country’s economy; Sri Lanka is no exception. To effectively support the agricultural activities it is essential to provide the right information when required. The information required to support agricultural activities need to suite the local context such as climate, culture, history, language, local plant varieties and so on. From time to time farmers will also need real time information such as market prices, weather condition, soil conditions etc to make informed decisions at various stages of crop cultivation and selling cycle. The required information need to be extracted from many sources in wide variety of formats often using different terminology to express the same concept. Ontologies provide a structured view of the domain knowledge and also it plays an important role in the enhancement of performance of systems, addressing issues such as knowledge sharing, knowledge aggregation as well as information retrieval and question answering. The aim of this project is to identifying the information farmers need at various stages of the food production and distribution supply chain, identify information sources where different parts of required information can be obtained and develop an Ontology for Agriculture in Sri Lanka to facilitate aggregation of information from varying sources to meet information needs of farmers.