Advances of Science and Technology. 6th EAI International Conference, ICAST 2018, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, October 5-7, 2018, Proceedings

Research Article

SMS Based Agricultural Information System for Rural Farmers

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.1007/978-3-030-15357-1_31,
        author={Alemu Tegegnie and Tekeste Dagne and Tamir Alemu},
        title={SMS Based Agricultural Information System for Rural Farmers},
        proceedings={Advances of Science and Technology. 6th EAI International Conference, ICAST 2018, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, October 5-7, 2018, Proceedings},
        proceedings_a={ICAST},
        year={2019},
        month={3},
        keywords={Agricultural information Agricultural knowledge service SMS SMS based agricultural information system Rural farmer Usability},
        doi={10.1007/978-3-030-15357-1_31}
    }
    
  • Alemu Tegegnie
    Tekeste Dagne
    Tamir Alemu
    Year: 2019
    SMS Based Agricultural Information System for Rural Farmers
    ICAST
    Springer
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-15357-1_31
Alemu Tegegnie1,*, Tekeste Dagne1,*, Tamir Alemu1,*
  • 1: Bahirdar University
*Contact email: alemupilatose@gmail.com, lolteke@gmail.com, tamirat.1216@gmail.com

Abstract

Agriculture is the back bone of Ethiopia’s economy. Despite the strength and volume of agriculture related information and training available through Ethiopia’s vast public extension system, ensuring farmers receive up-to-date data and knowledge in a timely, complete and quality manner remains a great challenge. The existing practice for delivering agricultural information through agricultural extension officers, farmer-to-farmer visit and mass Medias couldn’t satisfy the information needs of rural farmers. This is attributed by few numbers of extension officers, budget bottle neck and absence of electricity and network. This paper presents a SMS based agricultural information system (SMSbAIS) aimed to solve such challenges in agricultural sector. The SMSbAIS was developed based on a conceptual framework, developed during the course of this research, is used as a platform where rural farmers and agricultural extension officers can get agricultural knowledge service, request agricultural information and supply any information that demands the intervention of higher agricultural officers. It helps users not only to request for agricultural information; it also used to deliver such information to the hands of users via their mobile phones. The system is developed using Rapid Application Development (RAD) methodology with a series of iterative development and testing is done based on System Usability Scale (SUS) method. Testing and evaluation is targeted the systems usability, accuracy and performance. Therefore, it was found that on the SUS scale that ranges from 0 to 100, the system scored 87.6 with feedback from 20 users. The Query Understanding engine (QUE) accurately translated 90% of all incoming user requests. The mean average response system time is found to be 3.34 s. These results show that problem of lack of appropriate and easily accessible agricultural information can be solved using a system like the one developed in this research based on a framework that seeks solutions to challenges faced in accessing agricultural information in rural community.