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Satellite based ICT for improved crop production in the Gezira irrigation scheme in Sudan
The Satellite based ICT for improved crop production in the Gezira irrigation scheme is one year project funded by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation CTA and implemented by eLEAF and HRC-Sudan. The ICT is innovative project that aims at setting up a demand driven irrigation advisory service for farmers in the Gezira irrigation scheme in Sudan that conveys satellite based information on agricultural water use via mobile phone text-messages.
The service is envisaged to contribute to a better understanding on how to optimize water use for irrigation in order to increase food production. Additionally, a web based portal will be set up for the operational delivery of spatial agricultural data.
The project is implemented in the Gezira irrigation scheme, the largest irrigated scheme in Sudan having an area of 2.1 million Feddans. The project is implemented into two phases, viz.
- User needs assessment
- Webportal development
- SMS service development
- Remote sensing data processing
- Farmer fields support
- Training and capacity building
The pilot period covers 2014/2015 winter season crops viz. wheat, chickpea and onions. 44 farmers from five agricultural Blocks representing Gezira scheme spatially viz. north, middle, south and west were selected for the pilot testing. The selected farmers fields’ corners were fixed using a hand held Garmin GPS and linked with farmers’ mobile numbers. Based on the user needs assessment conducted among stakeholder the service is provided to the users. Nine parameters covering crop growth (biomass production, leaf area index, and vegetation index), moisture (actual evapotranspiration, evaporation deficit, crop factor and biomass water use efficiency) and minerals (nitrogen in upper leaf and total plant nitrogen). In addition, an Irrigation Planner, a web portal is run twice a week which advises farmers on the date of irrigation in advance. Other stakeholders e.g. extension officers, management board, etc. can access farmers’ information in the web portal.
|Project activities include:
o Organizing a kick-off meeting
o Selection of farmers
o Conduction of User needs assessments
o Data collection (end-user information, field data, crop data, climatic data)
o Provide day-to-day support to farmers
o Organize field meetings for pilot farmers
o Training for farmers, extension officers , and researchers
o Reporting on different activities
|The Gezira Scheme management looks forward to applying the ICT technology throughout the whole scheme in the near future. I look forward to the pilot testing of this solution for water management in one Agricultural Block in Gezira Scheme, says His Excellency Ibrahim Mahmood, the Federal Minister of Agriculture.||
His Excellency the Minister of Agriculture.
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