Because farmers provide food for the world, natural disasters like drought and flood and fires affect not only crops, but the way that all humans get their food. With dramatic global climate fluctuations, helping farmers be better prepared for natural disasters is incredibly important.
Right now, only larger farms can afford the new farming technologies that include sensors and computer systems. Since most of the farms in the world are small farms (84% of farms are less than 2 hectares) and many are owned by semi-literate people, these farms aren’t able to access the new, expensive technology. Our project, Liquid Prep, aims to change that by creating a basic portable device connected to a mobile phone app that small farms can use to get the information and advice they need to increase their yield of crop.
What is Liquid Prep?
Liquid Prep is an end-to-end IoT and cloud solution that helps farmers optimize their water usage. It involves an IoT soil sensor device with near-field communication (NFC) capabilities that relays soil humidity information to a mobile phone app. This app connects to a cloud backend that processes the local soil data from the sensor and combines it with local weather forecast and crop type data to advise the farmer on how to optimally water their crops.
Here’s an architectural overview of how Liquid Prep works:
- External data (soil moisture) from sensor is sent to an Android client.
- An Android client sent requests to a cloud server asking for watering advice. The client then receives the response about watering advice from the server.
- An Android client stores the watering advice from the server to the phone using a JSON file.
- The data interacts with external weather APIs and IBM Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture or other technology.
How your contributions help farmers on a global scale
The entire Liquid Prep platform was designed to function on any farm in the world. As a developer, this means your contributions to this project have the opportunity to aid farmers around the globe.
Our framework supports a vast array of spoken languages, backend APIs to weather platforms that provide data for all locations, and a cheap hardware/sensor solution that is affordable for all farmers.
The broad scope of this architecture makes it easy for you as a developer to get started and make an impact. Whether you would like to help out your local farming community or someone across the globe, contributing to this project is a meaningful way to help farmers everywhere.
Why should other developers contribute to this project?
As a developer, there are an abundance of open source projects you could be spending your time contributing to. Contributing to the Liquid Prep solution is an effective way of making an impact across the globe. With its global scope, your contributions will be felt among all farmers, large and small, and all of us down the line since we all rely on farmers for food.
The Liquid Prep ecosystem is backed by the IBM Call for Code initiative and a group of passionate developers and designers.