Mulungwishi Fertilizer App (Texas A&M University)

Farmers in the Democratic Republic of Congo have no access to soil testing to help them determine soil fertility needs. As a result, application of the appropriate amount of fertilizer is very difficult. There is currently no method for farmers to adjust for differences in plant population or anticipate higher yield when planting hybrid seed versus the open pollinated varieties typically planted. Difficulty also arises whenever a farmer desires to plant his or her corn seed closer or farther apart or when they make changes to account for different fertilizer sources. To overcome these difficulties, this project proposes the development of a phone application that would enable small-holder farmers to employ yield goals, split the application of N fertilizer, and adjust fertilizer application rates for changes in plant population, plant seeding rates and variety used. Many smallholder farmers in DR Congo either own or have access to a cell phone capable of running applications. Incorporating these agronomic calculations into a simple-to-use feature phone would enhance farmer access to this agronomy in a simple to use technology in a way that would increase the likelihood that farmers would adopt it.

Team Members: Christopher Thomas