Agrolly advances capabilities for small-scale farmers with technology innovation
The Call for Code Global Challenge winner comprised of a worldwide team of students takes on climate change
Agrolly is the winner of the 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge. The team will receive $200K and solution deployment support through IBM and The Linux Foundation.
From a day trip to a family-owned vineyard or the Saturday stroll to stock up at the local farmers market, the thought of what farms provide is profound. Although farms serve as an essential component to our lives and are critical to our health and wellness, they also experience some of the highest levels of vulnerability on our planet.
The dependence on proper amounts of rainfall and temperature consistency is the literal difference between life and death for crops around the world. In recent years, developed countries with a good farm infrastructure had more than a 17% yield decrease because of climate changes (Nelson et al, 2013). Due to their massive scale, developed farms continue to endure the declination in crop yield. However, small farms, particularly in emerging countries, cannot replicate such a response, and farmers who view their crop yields as a critical resource to both themselves and their communities are suddenly left empty-handed.
Whether it’s the network of knowledge sharing, education on climate change trends, or information on best practices, large-scale farmers have access to resources that small-scale farmers do not. Additionally, one important skill that is often absent for small-scale farmers is the ability to perform climate risk assessment, which can be an integral factor in obtaining funding from financial institutions. With small-scale farmers experiencing these disparities around the globe, a worldwide solution is needed to combat the effects climate change is having on this industry.
Meet Agrolly, the 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge winning solution built by a group of Pace University students with diverse backgrounds and experience from Taiwan, Brazil, Mongolia, and India. Agrolly aims to fill in the information gap so that farmers with less resources available to them can still make more educated decisions, obtain the necessary financing, and improve their economic outcome. Using IBM® Cloud Object Storage, IBM Watson® Studio, IBM Watson Assistant, and The Weather Company technologies, the platform provides a full service solution to execute climate risk assessments. Featured in the platform is a long-term rainfall forecast, which is tested periodically for increased accuracy, in addition to crop water requirements for the Food and Agriculture Organization for the United Nations (FAO), which is tailored for the location of each farmer, type of crop, and stage of the farm. Agrolly also provides a forum module allowing farmers to exchange information and solutions and allows text and picture uploads. Lastly, the Agrolly platform includes crop-risk algorithms allowing for risk assessments to be executed by small farmers.
The Agrolly team is fighting back against climate change. Farms serve as the tentpole to every community, and Agrolly remains steadfast in using tech for good to help farmers around the world do what they do best.
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