Agriculture catches up with mobile technology

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Agriculture (DA) is adapting two new phone applications aimed at improving information dissemination on various agricultural concerns.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the agency would acquire two Android applications from Filipino information technology experts to give farmers access to information on plant and animal diseases, weather forecast, and where to sell and buy farm supplies.

“The DA will acquire both applications because I believe that these two major innovations in information technology could revolutionize Philippine agriculture,” he said.

According to the DA, “FarmHelp” is designed to update the agency’s technology transfer and information dissemination, allowing farmer access to a 24/7 answering program.

“It would respond to requests in identifying the disease affecting any farm by simply taking a picture of the plant and sending it to the DA FarmHelp desk,” he said.

Experts will then analyze the disease using the photo and respond to the farmers within 24 hours, using an automatic geo-tagging which will immediately pinpoint the exact location of the farmer.

The other application called “Krops” is being developed by listed company Calata Corp. which is involved in the establishment of a chain of agricultural supply stores nationwide.

It will assist both farmers and buyers on product access to information on who is buying and selling, how much, and the location of the buyer or the seller.

“This will be the perfect answer to the problem bedevilling the Filipino agricultural producer who has always been at the mercy of the middlemen and the traders,” Piñol said.

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