Groundnut cultivation made easy with Mana Verusanaga mobile app
Groundnut is the major rainfed crop in Rayalaseema region including Anantapur, Chittoor and parts of Kadapa and Kurnool districts while the dryland legume is cultivated in large areas in other areas also in the state.
Tirupati: Groundnut is the major rainfed crop in Rayalaseema region including Anantapur, Chittoor and parts of Kadapa and Kurnool districts while the dryland legume is cultivated in large areas in other areas also in the state. Farmers often suffer heavy loss due to crop failure because of inadequate or no rains while lack of best practices in cultivation is also considered to be one of the reasons that are depriving farmers getting good revenue from the commercial crop.
In an effort to make best practices readily accessible to farmers, ANGRAU scientists have developed an android based mobile app Mana Verusanaga with technical assistance from Astra Innovations a start-up incubated at IIT Madras-supported Rural Technology Business Incubation (RTBI) centre located in IITM Research Park, Chennai.
The mobile application was designed with illustrative photographs in simple and lucid manner for the farmers to follow with ease. The app provides schematic seed to seed information for farmers in Telugu on crop varieties, soils, preparatory cultivation, nutrient management, weed control, water usage, insect and disease control, farm mechanization, value addition and feedback.
The other features include easy navigation in addition to the complete content in the app illustrated by the appropriate photographs for better understanding of the content and identification of varieties, pest and diseases and understanding of the cultivation practice.
University toll free number and other contact numbers of the extension centres in the 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh are given in the app for farmers to contact the university scientists. Agro-advisories can be sought by the farmer from the mobile app by sending the inbuilt SMS or email facility.
The developed mobile application is user-friendly. The user can send the SMS to the scientist and get the suggestions. It also has a list of contact numbers for interacting with the concerned scientists of the university,” said Dr Kadiri Mohan, Scientist (Agriculture Extension), Regional Agricultural Research Station, Tirupati, and the man behind the developing the app.
On the merits of the app, Mohan said the offline mobile app built on Android platform can be accessed 24/7 in remote areas also without internet connectivity. The content is in Telugu language (Unicode fonts) including the systematic presentation from time to time of Groundnut production technologies right from seed selection and varietal choice to progressive cultivation practices, which make it easy for the farmers and field level extension workers to follow them.
The illustrative photographs and text is meant to enable even the illiterate farmer who can navigate the app and access the required content. Further, aspects like nutrient supply to crop, pest and disease identification and control were extensively given in the app with proper identification, mode of spread, damage and suitable IPM, INM and IDM practices. In addition the app also contains value added information on groundnut in the form of nutritional facts and recipes.
Another advantage of this app is the simple and one step registration process where the user will provide the basic details to register by SMS, Dr Kadiri Mohan said. The expanding usage of Smart phones by the farmers in the rural area will create a demand for mobile phone based applications related to dissemination of production technologies, he said and informed that over five hundred farmers have already down loaded the app after it was introduced two weeks back.
The app was released recently by Dr NV Naidu, Director of Research, Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University and Dr TCM Naidu, Associate Director of Research, Regional Agricultural Research Station, Tirupati. The app can be downloaded from GOOGLE PLAY STORE by searching “angrau mana verusanaga” or just “angrau”.
By G SRIDHAR