14 June 2018

Crowdsourcing information to help farmers in Mexico increase crop yields

Options Summer 2018: Crowdsourcing has become a popular method for politicians, social groups, and private businesses to engage people. In the social media age, businesses and other groups can quickly, effectively, and inexpensively collect information, opinions, and even money from a wide audience that was previously inaccessible.

© igorstevanovic | Shutterstock

© igorstevanovic | Shutterstock

Now, scientists have utilized the power of crowdsourcing in a new app that aims to empower farmers in Mexico with comprehensive, real-time data that will hopefully lead to increased crop yields. The Agrotur app allows farmers to register parcels of land and log relevant agronomic information such as crop management practices and yield performance to share with others.

Collaboratively produced by IIASA and the International Wheat and Maize Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico, the Agrotur app relies on user-supplied data. Once basic information is entered, the app provides users with crop- and location-specific information on weather, yields, income, utilities, and costs. The app features both historical data and forecasts, which will help farmers to better prepare for planting and fertilizing crops. By allowing users to contribute detailed information on soil characteristics and agricultural management, the app’s creators hope that the app’s future recommendations will become even smarter.

“Sustainable intensification of agricultural production is key to achieving food security while avoiding environmental damage due to excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides,” explains Juan Carlos Laso Bayas, a researcher in the IIASA Earth Observation and Citizen Science Center. “The Agrotutor app aims to disseminate best agricultural practices to farmers in a tailored and timely manner, with specific recommendations suitable for geo-located parcels and crops.”


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Last edited: 27 June 2018

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Juan Carlos Laso Bayas

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Ecosystems Services and Management

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