Monday, May 29, 2017

Mobile Technology Helping Filipino Farmers

Grameen Foundation initiated FarmerLink back in 2016. This was in response with the needs of the Filipino farmer in coping with natural and man-made disasters that affects their livelihood and farm operations. This will enable the Filipino farmer to manage his farm and allow new techniques to be learned and applied to local conditions.

The backdrop to this was the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 when 33 million coconut trees were destroyed and severely affected the lives of over 1 million families that depended on the coconut industry. 

Almost at the same time, the coconut industry was also being devastated by the cocolisap infestation that affected coconut trees from Luzon all the way to Mindanao.  The infestation transcended both the past and present administrations. This was compounded by another naturally caused blow to the industry namely, a very strong El Nino phenomenon  during 2016 that resulted in low yields throughout the entire agricultural sector because of the droughts brought by it.  

This has brought to the fore another evolution that has been increasing in pace. Technology has grown by leaps and bounds and it is not only in finance, marketing and the manufacturing industry that mobile apps have found its place in solutions. The current problems in the country’s agricultural sector also presented opportunities for mobile technology to be a big part of the solution. 

FarmerLink aims to provide small farmers mobile based solutions for their farming operations by providing information to farmers at different points during farming operations from production to financial and even market access.  

An example of FarmerLink mobile solutions is an app that provides farmers with information with regards to threats posed by climate related diseases and pest infestations. This helps them control any outbreak with regards to the vulnerability of their farms and crops. This is enabled by the combination of satellite data and farm data collected by field agents using mobile technology equipment.

FarmerLink also provides an Early Warning System for extreme weather conditions that will enable farmers to act proactively to real time weather advisories to protect their crops and their families. This will make the Filipino farmer more resilient and with its full range of services that includes customized farming techniques, and financial advice with regards to marketing of products.

Posted by The Mailman 5/29/2017 12:00 PM

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The Mail Man

Author & Editor - The Philippines' Web Magazine on Agriculture.

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