FEM@Mobile is a mobile application in agriculture containing information on 100 crops. The application is so designed that it takes care of the needs of both small and big farmers.
There are six different categories of information covered under the tool. The broad areas of information are crop cultivation, plant protection, organic inputs, agro chemicals, expert support and contact directory.
The crops are categorized based on broad groups like spices, vegetables, medicinal plants etc. The crop production aspects cover information on planting, variety, fertilizer, after care and harvest.
The button on planting operations will give information on seed material, spacing, planting time, method of planting etc. Information on around 800 recommended varieties are included under the variety details.
Around 300 fertilizer recommendations are presented in straight fertilizer format and in unit area/per plant basis. Further, the fertilizer information button will make clear how much fertilizer to be applied, when and how.
The after care button will give information on weeding, irrigation and other intercultural operations. The fifth button is on harvest and storage. The crop duration, maturity indicators, harvesting and the action to be done immediately after harvest is presented here.
The plant protection part covers symptom and control of over 500 insect pests, 700 plant diseases and 1100 deficiency disorders. The control aspect gives equal emphasis on organic and inorganic methods.
This is followed detailed information on other topics like different organic and inorganic fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. It is followed by the expert support link that helps to send field photos directly to the scientists. This is followed by contact directory.
The mobile application has two advantages. Firstly, it acts as a capacity building tool for extension officers. The extension officers can refresh their knowledge at any point of time.
Secondly, it reduces the cost, time and locational problems involved in transfer of technology. This assumes special importance for the small and marginal farmers located in remote place.
Further, one of the major problems associated with communication is message distortion happening in the communication channel. The mobile application solves this problem as it carries the embedded message correctly to the end user.
The speciality of the tool is its simplicity. The well-structured navigation path makes information retrieval easy. The content information is presented in small sentences and paragraphs. This makes the information easily understandable to common man.
Further, it is available free for download. The size of the application is below 1000 kb. Hence, users can freely download the application in their smart phone and use. Once, installed there is no further need for any internet connection.
This work is an extension of the concept of farm extension manager. The application also can be download from the site www.farmextensionmanager.com.
It was developed by a group of scientists of Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) working at Krishi Vigyan Kendra Malappuram, Kerala, India. The Department of Agriculture, Government of Kerala funded the project.