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IS480 Team wiki: 2010T1 The Green Reapers

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IntelliCrops - Global Knowledge Partnership to Feed the World
IntelliCrops.
Est 2010
Type Global Knowledge Partnership to Feed the World
Area Knowledge Management
Data Analytics
Text-to-Speech
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Industry Non-Profit Organization
Team Members Alvin KOH Jun Yong
Edwin FENG Chugong
Marcus Y.
TAN Fengnan
QUA Wei Han
CHUA Sun Lun


Introduction

IntelliCrops Poster
IntelliCrops Poster

We are a team of 6 individuals whom firmly believe in leveraging on technology to create social change. Our project IntelliCrops, is a small step over what might be a huge chasm in attempting to alleviate world poverty and hunger.

We aim to achieve this by leveraging on creative use of techonology to build an extensive, simple to use and easy to manage agricultural knowledge platform.

Information from crops diseases to best practices on the platform will be made available directly to farmers through an interactive voice response (IVR) via none other than a simple mobile phone capable of making phone calls. This facet of knowledge transfer localised to the language of the region enables even illiterate farmers in the most rural areas to be able to receive and comprehend the information available

Armed with professional and up to date knowledge, farmers are then able to combat crop diseases and exercise good practices to maximise crop yields.

In the long run, sustainability of the platform is ensured with on-going knowledge fueled by the community through feedback and contributions to through the platform or the IVR phone system itself.


Team Members

Role Name Email Responsibilities
Project Manager Alvin KOH Jun Yong alvin.koh.2008@smu.edu.sg
  • Managing project scope, schedule, resources and architecture
  • Developing analytics module
Technology Evangelist Edwin FENG Chugong edwin.feng.2008@smu.edu.sg
  • Spearheading the team's efficient use of technologies
  • Responsible for the development of data analytics and visualization algorithms
System Architect Marcus Y.
  • In charge of the overall technical architecture of the project
  • Acquiring of the necessary licenses and software needed
Community Engagement and Liaisons TAN Fengnan fengnan.tan.2008@smu.edu.sg
  • Explore telecommunications networks and infrastructure
  • Support the Database Analyst in retrieving data from silos/data mining
IVR Specialist QUA Wei Han weihan.qua.2008@smu.edu.sg
  • Physical and logical database design
  • Complex SQL queries to pull data from external sources
  • Development of Data-layer web service to be exposed to public
System Architect CHUA Sun Lun sunlun.chua.2008@smu.edu.sg
  • Facilitation of User Acceptance Testing(UAT) as well as System Integration Testing (SIT)
  • Development of test cases
  • Communication with the various stakeholders and dissemination of information to team members


Motivation

Farming is a significant economic activity in many countries around the world, and is the fundamental fuel of all our industries. However, many communities are still unable to feed themselves, lacking skills and knowledge to maximize crop yields, combat crop diseases and realize the full potential of their land. This locks them in a vicious poverty cycle, and has lasting consequences on the long-term growth of their communities.

IntelliCrops is an agricultural knowledge management and analysis platform that facilitates information exchange across languages, literacy levels and economic means. The system is a smart, cost-effective combination of mature call-centre technologies with cutting-edge data analytics techniques and community-building concepts. Through IntelliCrops, we hope to help alleviate world poverty and hunger, and help forge deep and lasting global partnerships among our various stakeholders.

Current Knowledge Transfer
Current Knowledge Transfer


Current State of Knowledge Transfer

Knowledge transfer in agricultural communities currently passes from scientists through extension workers before reaching the intended audience, the farmers themselves. As there are many scientists and organizations working on this problem, there is no lack of expert knowledge in this field of study. However due to illiteracy and diverse languages, these knowledge are not able to be consumed directly by farmers without 3rd party assistance from extension workers.


Knowledge Silo
Isolated Knowledge Silos



Isolation of Knowledge Silos

Isolation of data silos remain one of the barriers to knowledge exchange between farmers and scientists. Different scientific organizations have their own research databases around the world. There lacks a simple point of entry for consolidated information accessible by farmers


One Way Knowledge Transfer
One Way Knowledge Transfer



One Way Knowledge Transfer

Current practice of knowledge transfer only supports one way from scientist towards farmers. As farmers have rich agricultural experience passed down across generations, it is a waste not to share this wealth of knowledge with other farmers.


Scalability Issue
Scalability Issue



Scalability

The current knowledge network is very reliant on extension workers. Practically, however, the number of available, trained extension workers is vastly overwhelmed by the number of farmers across the world. As a result, extension workers face increasing difficulties in spreading knowledge from scientific organizations to the farmers.


Reach
Reach



Reach

With the gaping ratio of farmers to extension workers there will invariably be farmers who will be out of the network extension workers reach, depriving them of knowledge that may assist them in their agricultural activities. This has been well observed to lead to a vicious cycle where farmers are not productive enough to lift themselves out of poverty.




Stakeholders

IRRI logo.jpg


The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is an independent, nonprofit rice research and training organization. It is one of the research centers of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and is Asia's largest nonprofit agricultural research center.

IRRI's mission is "To reduce poverty and hunger, improve the health of rice farmers and consumers, and ensure environmental sustainability through collaborative research, partnerships, and the strengthening of national agricultural research and extension systems."

More information about IRRI can be found at IRRI's Official Website or IRRI's Wiki Page


Beneficiaries

Farmers
Farmers



Farmers will be able to call into the system to access farming information and diagnostic and contribution functions.



Extension Workers
Extension Workers



Volunteers can contribute their time and linguistic expertise to transcribe phone recordings of knowledge contributions by individual farmers. They may also reward and support farmers and organizations that have made significant contributions.



Scientists
Scientists




Scientific organizations, governments, and non-government organizations will be able to tap into a centralized and ever-growing repository of knowledge and data contributed by fellow scientists, volunteers and remote farmers. They will also be able to visualize a combination of internal and external data sources.


Advisors / Practitioners

We have been in close contact with scientists and professors to get a better understanding of

  • Real-world functional needs and challenges of both scientists and farmers
  • Data storage and manipulation challenges
  • Disease diagnostic techniques

IntelliCrops will offer them a centralized, ever-growing data repository, and allow them to reach out to individual farmers. This will definitely aid in their research work.



Features

Knowledge Navigator



Knowledge Management

1) Knowledge Base of crop disease, best practices and other relevant information. This content will be indexed against disease characteristics, weather attributes and other domain-specific metadata to facilitate search and retrieval via web and phone. This tagging infrastructure will also allow us to build a plant/crop diagnostics function tailored to the specific needs of individual farmers.

Text To Speech Engine


Text-to-Speech Engine

2) Text-To-Speech engine that can automatically convert articles in the knowledge base into localized audio files for later retrieval via phone calls.



IVR Menu System

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System

3) Interactive Voice Response(IVR) System for equal, two-way access to system content and features via a phone call. This will allow us to reach out to illiterate users. Scientists may also conduct automated diagnostic questionnaires via this system. Farmers can use these questionnaires to access relevant articles quickly. If the IVR cannot find a matching article, it is possible that the farmer faces a new disease. In that case, participating scientists will be alerted with information from the farmer’s call. Farmers may also contribute their experiences as audio recordings over the phone. This is accomplished using Skype's public API, operating on the receiving end to facilitate the call process.

Data Analytics


Data Analytics

4) Data analytics features that can visualize data internal databases. This can help scientists and IRRI staff analyze call patterns (from the IVR) across geography, time, crops, cost, and diseases, based on different aggregation functions. This also enables IRRI staff to better allocate and relocate valuable and limited resources to more specific and target areas.

These are some of the data analytics features that are featured:

  • Call Duration Analysis
  • Call Location Analysis
  • Call Count Analysis
  • Content Analysis

Web Content Management System (CMS)

5) Web interface that simplifies content contribution and management. A combination of social, search and analytics features will engage scientists and volunteers. For instance, volunteers can help transcribe audio recordings from farmers or reward good contributions from other users and farmers.

Project Management


Quality Management


Intellicrops heart.png

From the Heart


Check the Deployment page for more details


Check the Final Presentation page for more details.