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Research Articles

Overcoming Challenges and Achieving Sustainability of Potato Production through A Real-time Digital Knowledge-based System

Authors:

M. S. A. Mohamed ,

University of Ruhuna, Kamburupitiya, LK
About M. S. A.

Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture

Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science, University of Ruhuna, Matara

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D. L. Wathugala,

University of Ruhuna, Kamburupitiya, LK
About D. L.
Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture
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W. A. Indika,

University of Ruhuna, Matara, LK
About W. A.
Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science
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M. K. S. Madushika

University of Ruhuna, Matara, LK
About M. K. S.
Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science
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Abstract

Potato is the most popular root crop and plays a crucial role in human nutrition worldwide. However, farmers in Sri Lanka face many challenges throughout at different stages of potato production. This study intends to provide context-specific actionable information using the Packages of Practice (PoP) model through an ICT-based mobile platform. To investigate farmers’ challenges, a field survey was conducted in major potato growing Districts in Sri Lanka. Primary data were obtained using a pre-tested structured questionnaire, formal and informal discussions from 100 potato farmers selected by purposive sampling technique. Low farmgate prices (37%), pest and disease attacks (32%) and high cost of farm inputs (20%) were the major challenges identified in the study area. These challenges were mainly due to the non-adoption of proper agronomic practices, lack of complete information at the right time, scarcity and low-quality agro-technology, etc. Further, identified decision support factors required for each stage in the farming life cycle for better cultivation. The PoP model was designed concerning the farmer context using Design Science Research methodology. Then the designed PoP was verified and validated by the experts in the domain. The ontological crop knowledge base was used to represent the PoP. Finally, knowledge in the PoP model is fed through a mobile application and then according to user requests, information is acquired from the knowledge base. The designed PoP will be modified based on the updated information/knowledge and user satisfaction/feedback. The proposed information flow will be continued cyclically. A mobile-based information system was taken as an effective tool to speed up the process of knowledge sharing among farmers by providing real-time information, promised to overcome common challenges faced by the potato farmers and achieve long-term sustainability in production.
How to Cite: Mohamed, M.S.A., Wathugala, D.L., Indika, W.A. and Madushika, M.K.S., 2021. Overcoming Challenges and Achieving Sustainability of Potato Production through A Real-time Digital Knowledge-based System. Tropical Agricultural Research, 32(3), pp.307–317. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tar.v32i3.8494
Published on 30 Jul 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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