I very recently came across a technology being developed under a "social business" unit at my employer, Intel Corp. I am excited about its potential benefits to farming and environment -- from what it purports to do and some anecdotal evidence I heard.
What this group have created is a Nutrient Management Tool - mrittika -- which is a soil nutrient analysis and recommendation tool. "Last-mile entrepreneurs offer soil-testing services to the farmers and use mrittika to analyze the results to recommend fertilizer to the farmers for achieving cost-effective and optimum productivity." It apparently will optimize and recommend application of appropriate nutrients for a farmer based on the location, height, and soil analysis results along with the type of crop. It will let you also monitor and provide other back-end database help.
Benefits expected are lessening of the nutrient/fertilizer cost to farmer, reducing the runoff and environmental effects, better and predictable crops.
Given my role and interest in social causes, the Intel people have told me that they would support and provide this technology in limited manner to farmers and entrepreneurs wanting to try this. Typically this involves cost as you can imagine but people at Intel told me that they can give us nearly free to try -- and can train you if you travel to a training center (they are strengthening up one in Bhubaneswar).
I would like to see if this technology can deliver and help our people. Are there any among you interested in learning more about this application that can be now installed even on android phone or tablet. This is something doable and cost effective to take to remote villages! They are also making it so it can work with very low prdinary phone bandwidth (no internet access needed) to further make it yet more cost-efficient for the user.
Are there farmers or socially conscious NGOs you know who will be seriously interested to know more and perhaps experiment? A farmer or ngo can try this on an acre or less of land and compare to past results that we can survey and record. If it succeeds, can we bring it to all blocks/villages? Can we extend the usefulness to more crops, vegetables and to more geographical and climatic conditions, and later further leverage and enhance codified knowledge from our best agro-scientists? These are the thoughts that excited me...
My colleagues here just sent me additional 10 page material that I can share for detailed peak at the tool's capability.
For the user-manuals and video demos of 4 related applications -- plz download from dropbox and view:
For a high-level usage manual, see this: