[reblogged from http://worldwidesemanticweb.org/2015/03/06/a-sugar-activity-for-subsistence-farmers/ This post is written by Tom Jansen]
Subsistence farming or agriculture is a form of farming where farmers mainly focus on growing enough food to be self-sufficient. Especially in African countries, where people are very dependent of own-grown food, this type of farming is very common. Subsistence farming, however, in these countries has so much to gain and has so much potential. Improving the farming skills of the farmers could make significant contributions to the reduction of hunger. Unfortunately, farmers often haven’t had enough agricultural education to optimally grow their own food. To help these farmers, I developed an activity that will improve their farming skills. The application helps the farmers to identify diseases of their crops and animals and will present them ways to manage the diseases and prevent them in the future. Giving them an opportunity to manage diseases of their crops and livestock means giving them an opportunity to improve their harvest. The opportunity of a bigger harvest could be a substantial contribution to a better way of living for farmers in (a.o) West Africa.
The activity is Sugar based and is therefore perfectly suitable for the XO-Laptops that are commonly used in West Africa. The activity revolves around a database with a lot of information about diseases of crops and livestock. When the farmer opens the activity, he will be led through two menus with possibilities. When the right crop or livestock is selected, a list with diseases will be shown containing identification possibilites for a particular diseases. When the farmer notices that one description of the disease is very similar to what is happening to his crops or livestock, he clicks on the disease. When the choice is made another window pops up showing the information the farmer needs to manage and prevent the disease.
Right now it is only possible to access the database and read the information inside the database. What would improve the activity is a way where farmers can access the database and not only read, but also change and add information from the database. This way the information and thus the quality of the activity could be improved without any help from the outside.
The activity can be found on the following page (containing all the code): https://github.com/WorldWideSemanticWeb/farming-activity
Read the full report here: Helping Subsistence Farmers in West Africa