Farmer Text Support

SMS <-> Recorded Phone Calls Community Knowledge Base

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In rural areas cell phones are the only access to technology available. This project targets allowing communities to share knowledge through the use of SMS and recorded text messages. Moreover, it also allows for governmental organizations and NGOs to contribute and track problems in the field.


A person has a question "Can I plant pineapples alongside mangos?", she sends it via SMS to the Farmer Text Support (FTS) server. The FTS then either matches the question to an existing question/answer pair on its database (using techniques for Information Retrieval on Question/Answer archives, an active field of research, see this [] paper (Retrieval Models for Question and Answer Archives, PDF) or even this [] patent (Method for retrieving answers from an information retrieval system). If no suitable recorded answer is found, the question is broadcasted to other subscribers via SMS. The subscribers can decide to answer it by calling the FTS and leaving a recorded message, which is added to the DB. The original person asking the question gets the recorded answer and ranks it.

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