Using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve efficiency of agricultural development

Agriculture is an important sector particularly in countries that rely heavily on agricultural exports. There has been a continuous effort by many countries to use different technologies in order to increase agricultural production. This effort is driven by the growing demand for agricultural products due to the increase in population. Information and communication technologies (ICT) can play a very healthy role in addressing this challenge.

In this article, we will focus on the ICT tools and solutions that farmers can use to better manage their farms. Data collection and monitoring play an important role in improving agricultural developments. If you manage well, you will succeed. Traditionally, paper-based systems have been used to collect data in the field in rural areas. But this approach is time-consuming and prone to human errors. ICT tools and solutions are now being used widely with very positive results in agricultural development projects. These tools include customized solutions as well as off-the-shelf applications with equally good effects.

Mobile technology is already having a positive impact in connecting farmers and agribusiness. Customized smartphone applications are being developed to further extend this impact. Smartphone applications such as information on commodity prices, accurate weather updates, pest control, and disease outbreaks, capital exchange services, and helpline services provide important tips and real-time advice to farmers.

Here we have listed a few of the applications that are helpful for farmers in managing their crops and fields. A comprehensive list of applications for farmers is available at Apps for Agriculture.

Commodity Prices

The commodity Prices app allows you to track corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, live cattle, feeder cattle, and more. The app is very simple to operate.

Virtual Farm Manager

Virtual Farm Manager is a subscription-based service that helps you store, view, and log
information about your fields by using this app. It is a web and mobile software to help organize and keep the farm synced without any expensive hardware.

Farm Manager

Farm Manager, similar to VFM above, lets you manage your farms from your android phone. It allows farmers to manage fields, operations, and functions directly from the tractor up.

My Traps

MyTraps is a service that allows farmers to place insect traps wherever they want and then track the movement of insect pests across their fields throughout the season.

Weather Apps

Weather apps such as Underground Weather and Weather Channel give farmers accurate weather updates and other information such as visibility and humidity.

Mix Tank

Mix Tank assists farmers with the proper tank mixing sequence of crop protection products.

Cash Grain Bids

Cash Grain Bids application gives you local grain elevators prices. With this app, input your ZIP code to find out cash bids and base levels in your area. Get bids from the five elevators closest to you.