Small, startup farmers need access to low-cost, high-value insights. They do not have the resources of large commercial farms, but with basic recommendations, they can greatly improve crop yields and long-term viability.
What it does
SmartFarmer utilizes basic sensor inputs to give a farmer extensive supervision of their crop fields. The data allows for alert messaging and online recommendations to improve crop quality and livelihood.
How we built it
We connected the basic moisture, humidity, and temperature sensors to an Arduino board, connected to a Wi-Fi enabled Raspberry Pi to transmit data to a database using the Flask microframework. The data is used to calculate the overall condition of a farmer's crops, and this information is available on an online platform for further insights as needed. Farmers can also receive text messages with actionable recommendations, such as a message to water the crops if the soil moisture is low.
Challenges we ran into
The system requires many steps from the data collection to the insights provided on the online platform. Our focus on the small farmer meant we didn't have access to high-capital equipment and technology, but this allowed us to focus on the relatively basic information that would provide high value to the small startup farmer.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Connecting every step of the process was a challenge, but with multiple cross-platform connections, we were able to integrate the hardware and software to provide a full-fledged platform for feedback on agriculture practices and recommendations for improvement.
What we learned
We were tested on our ability to delegate specific tasks among the group, with each team pair tackling different aspect of the problem. It takes an army to build a system that provides true value for any client/customer. No individual can compare to the power of a group of highly-motivated, creative, focused team members.
What's next for SmartFarmer
Our system can be furthered with additional sensors for further insights into the state of a farmer's crops, and the educational system on the online platform can be expanded to provide additional value and recommendations for farmers at any stage in the farm management process.