Bidar: Scientists at the University of Agriculture Sciences (UAS), Raichur, have developed a unique IT-enabled handheld device that will provide information to farmers in real time on pest-related problems.
The device, Electronic Solutions Against Agricultural Pests (e-SAP), has a web-based application system which facilitates flow of information from the farmer to the farm scientist and back.
"The idea behind creating e-SAP was to help the extension worker, who is not an expert, to collect specimens right from the farmer's field and send it to the scientists and experts in real time," Prabhuraj A Associate Professor of Entomology at the College of Agriculture, UAS Raichur said.
E-SAP will make the work of the extension service worker easy, enhance their efficiency and at the same time provide the farmers with solutions right in his field in real time, Prabhuraj, who has this technology, he added.
"This technology targets one of the critical requirements of a crop cycle, pest management. E-Sap has features that can bring the farmer, extension worker, scientist and policy maker on the same plane, thereby, helping to find solutions that are more practical and in lesser time," he said
E-SAP is currently being run on a pilot basis in Raichur district in Karnataka covering 4,000 farmers and about 10,000 hectares in 5 taluks since last year.
"The technology is not very costly. We developed about 15 such tablets and the software for Rs 59 lakh. The costs of a single tablet is Rs 25,000, which can come down if it is produced on a mass scale," Prabhuraj said.
E-SAP is unique in the sense that it has a voice-based application system, which guides the farmer and the extension worker in the local language about how to collect the data and the specimens, he added.
That apart, it also allows the extension worker and the farmer to do a survey of the pest attack or related problems right in the field, which is then automatically synthesised in the form of graphs and tables along with the decision support intelligence.
Another highlight of e-SAP is the image-based model that captures high quality images of pests and their symptoms and then guides the user in identifying the pest. This coupled with audio assistance makes it very easy to handle.
"There is an intuitively built pest specific survey to quantify the damage caused, which is based on images and also utilises the images captured by the extension worker from the affected field. This survey helps the expert is ascertaining the extent of damage and suggest remedies," Prabhuraj said.
E-SAP devices provide continuous feed to the handheld devices with latest farm technologies, modifications and recommendations, he added.
First Published: Monday, December 24, 2012, 19:03