Working Paper Technical Note Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

AgroTutor: A Mobile Phone Application Supporting Agricultural Sustainable Intensification

Version 1 : Received: 21 August 2020 / Approved: 24 August 2020 / Online: 24 August 2020 (02:56:48 CEST)

How to cite: Laso Bayas, J.C.; Gardeazabal, A.; Karner, M.; Folberth, C.; Vargas, L.; Skalský, R.; Balkovič, J.; Subash, A.; Saad, M.; Delerce, S.; Crespo Cuaresma, J.; Hlouskova, J.; Molina-Maturano, J.; See, L.; Fritz, S.; Obersteiner, M.; Govaerts, B. AgroTutor: A Mobile Phone Application Supporting Agricultural Sustainable Intensification. Preprints 2020, 2020080497 Laso Bayas, J.C.; Gardeazabal, A.; Karner, M.; Folberth, C.; Vargas, L.; Skalský, R.; Balkovič, J.; Subash, A.; Saad, M.; Delerce, S.; Crespo Cuaresma, J.; Hlouskova, J.; Molina-Maturano, J.; See, L.; Fritz, S.; Obersteiner, M.; Govaerts, B. AgroTutor: A Mobile Phone Application Supporting Agricultural Sustainable Intensification. Preprints 2020, 2020080497

Abstract

Traditional agricultural extension services rely on extension workers, especially in countries with large agricultural areas. In order to increase adoption of sustainable agriculture, the recommendations given by such services must be adapted to local conditions and be provided in a timely manner. The AgroTutor mobile application was built to provide highly specific and timely agricultural recommendations to farmers across Mexico and complement the work of extension agents. At the same time, AgroTutor provides direct contributions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, either by advancing their implementation or providing local data systems to measure and monitor specific indicators such as the proportion of agricultural area under productive and sustainable agriculture. The application is freely available and allows farmers to geo-locate and register plots and the crops grown there, using the phone’s in-built GPS, or alternatively, on top of very high-resolution imagery. Once a crop and some basic data such as planting date and cultivar type have been registered, the app provides targeted information such as weather, potential and historical yield, financial benchmarking information, data-driven recommendations as well as commodity price forecasts. Farmers are also encouraged to contribute in-situ information, e.g., soils, management, and yield data. The information can then be used by crop models, which, in turn, would send tailored results back to the farmers. Initial feedback from farmers and extension agents has already improved some of the app’s characteristics. More enhancements are planned for inclusion in the future to increase the app’s function as a decision support tool.

Subject Areas

volunteered geographic information; agricultural intensification; sustainability; smart farming; citizen science; SDGs; decision support tool

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