How to make agriculture 'cool' while helping farmers


Posted at Oct 27 2017 12:41 PM

MANILA - Bringing technology to agriculture can make it "cool" for the youth while helping increase the productivity of farmers, according to winners of a farm solutions contest.

Technologies showcased at the "Innovation Olympics" organized by fruit and vegetable seeds developer East-West Seed Group include a solar powered food processor and a farm monitoring system based on text messaging.
"We want to make agriculture cool for the younger people at the same make it accessible for the already existing population of the agriculture sector," Vincent Maningas, a member of UP Los Banos’ PocketFarm team, told ANC’s Early Edition.

PocketFarm helps older farmers by giving them SMS alerts on weather. This helps them determine how much water should go to their fields.

One of the projects, E-Magsasaka Agriviz E-Commerce Platform, applies data analytics to help farmers tailor their production to market demand, said its developer, Aaron David.

"If they are market driven, they will be more prepared, if the market is saying onions, they will plant onions, so all of their produce will be bought with these buyers," said David from the Asian Institute of Management.
David's internet platform also connects farmers to prospective buyers.

Another project, iAgriventures, helps farmers salvage excess produce using solar power.

An extra harvest of tomatoes, for example, can be sun dried instead of being sold for as low as P1 per kilo, said iAgriventures team member Marc Limbo.
"What they need is proper education and information with what these technologies can do on their part, if they are aware of the positive impact of these technologies, I think they will be more than willing to utilize these," Limbo said.