Fosholi: an Intelligent Decision Support System for Farmers in Bangladesh
Since 2016 Nelen and Schuurmans is developing several decision support services for the farmers in Bangladesh within the Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) program. Over the last months, the team has been developing an app providing information about several crops. The app, named Fosholi, provides information on growth suitability, the stages of growth, pest and disease risks and lastly profit & loss of (rice) plantations. The app successfully demonstrates the added value of combining remote sensing data, weather information and agricultural knowledge.
In order to combine the information with the agricultural decision-based models, developed by agricultural experts from Bangladesh, Nelen & Schuurmans developed a Local Processing Server (LPS) in cooperation with Roos GeoSolutions. Within the LPS, information from the Lizard platform is collected, aggregated and combined within the models for the determination of the suitability of different crops, the determination of the risk for different pest and diseases affecting rice.
The results of the system are presented in the app (Fosholi) directly to the farmers. The app provides the farmer also the possibility to collect their information related to their cropping inputs and actual weather information and forecast. The information that is presented to the farmers includes a ranking of the crops that could be cultivated in their fields. This advice takes into account soil and climate conditions and gives a specific advice per growing season. The stage of the growth for rice: Actually, the service provides information about the status of a certain location. The kind of questions that can be answered with this app include: How many hectares are in harvesting stages? Or how many hectares have been recently planted? The risks for several pests and diseases based on the rice growth stage and current weather information and forecasts.
The team at ACI in Bangladesh is visiting different districts to present and collect the feedback from the farmers and in this way improve the functionality of the application. After the feedback collected from the farmers, the app will be optimised and launched in July 2018.
The continuous monitoring of rice growth and the risks for pests and diseases are also presented for advance users in the dedicated website for Fosholi: fosholi.lizard.net. To facilitate monitoring N&S has developed an online crop growth report that is coupled to the lizard website and a dashboard that summarizes the most important results.
Fosholi (meaning Productivity in Bangla) is being implemented in a consortium together with ACI – Agribusiness (Bangladesh), Sarvision (Netherlands), and SNV (Netherlands-Bangladesh).