YOUTH IN DATA BLOG: Who knows the crop better than the farmer?
SLAM (Self-learning advice for farmers) was a finalist in the 2019 Inspire Challenge competition. Learn about what sets the project apart.
Slam is one of ten finalists selected to pitch their proposals to a panel of expert judges at CGIAR´s Big Data in Agriculture Convention in Hyderabad, India, 16-18 October, for a chance to be awarded one of five 100,000 USD Inspire Challenge grants.
The Inspire Challenge is the innovation process of the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture and seeks to source and foster new solutions for digital agriculture in developing economies. It challenges research organizations to partner with industry in order to leverage public good data, especially CGIAR data, to solve intractable challenges at scale.
SLAM is an application, based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, whch aims to enhance call-based ‘ag-visory’ services by using input from farmers to help improve the application.
The project creates a unique space for give and take between farmers and advisors.
SLAM has three components:
- Farmers form a community and jointly manage their farms and the wider agricultural landscape.
- Farmers receive tailored agricultural advice using SMS and voice messages.
- Text and data mining is performed on the farmers’ feedback in order to improve the service.
SLAM is innovative because it creates creates a win-win situation by tying the success of the application to the success of the farmers. Unlike other advisory services, SLAM is not multi-directional. User-acceptance and ease of use are given much consideration.
Since 2010, the service had been accessed by four million farmers, without the use of advertising; farmers have heard about the service based on word of mouth alone. These results attest to the credibility of the service and its potential to further development of the agricultural sector.
This blog entry was written by delegates from our 2019 Youth in Data workshop. The workshop introduces participants to important themes around digital agriculture and how using big data approaches to agricultural development can accelerate food security goals. Delegates were also trained in how to use digital media as a powerful tool to communicate about development, learning the basics of social media, interviewing, blog writing, data reporting, and other media skills, which they were then able to apply during the 2019 BIG DATA Convention. For more information on the next workshop, please visit our Youth in Data Initiatives page.
October 30, 2019
Madiha Sadaf and Hiba Anjum
2019 Youth in Data Delegates