Increasing the yield of smallholder farmers in Indonesia with SMARTseeds
Indonesia’s government are aiming for food self-sufficiency by improving farm techniques, promoting climate-smart agriculture, improving efficient use of inputs, and increasing the knowledge of farmers on Good Agriculture Practices (GAP). SMARTseeds is a public-private partnership of seven partners from Indonesia and the Netherlands, each working to support vegetable farmers in Indonesia.
The adverse effects of climate change, such as changing weather patterns, are making agriculture even more challenging. SMARTseeds aims to implement a financially sustainable information service to help 100,000 vegetable farmers increase their production, income, and food security while reducing the inputs of water, fertiliser, and pesticides.
Above: Supadi, a smallholder farmer from Indonesia, attends to his chilli crops. Indonesia, November 2018.
In Indonesia, vegetable farmers are faced with new and complex challenges. Weather conditions are unpredictable, market access is difficult, and harvest prices are unstable. Producers also have limited information on farmer profiles and production activities. Farmers lack the necessary information on weather, soil nutrients, pests, diseases, and market data to solve these challenges. To get this information, farmers need reliable and timely data.
Supadi, a smallholder farmer from Indonesia, attends to his chilli crops. Indonesia, November 2018.
Each partner in the consortium lends their own expertise to the programme, whether it’s field data collection, analysis of weather information, satellite and soil data, training farmers in Good Agricultural Practices, farming community outreach, water management, or monitoring and evaluation.
Akvo brings its expertise in data to the programme. Using our data platform and services, SMARTseeds has a robust data management and monitoring system, allowing a constant stream of reliable data to be captured, visualised, and used for decision making. Besides data on farmer profiles and soil nutrients, Akvo’s data platform is used to capture monitoring and evaluation data for the programme. This means that progress can be accurately tracked and programme managers can use the data to steer and improve programmes as they are running.
In three provinces of Indonesia, vegetable farmers now have access to a mobile phone application which provides updates on weather forecasts, fertiliser recommendations and advice regarding soil nutrients. An SMS service is also available, providing farmers with crop calendars and advice regarding which vegetables you should plant and when. From the field data collection with Akvo’s data platform, the information for farmers is geotagged, allowing farmers to make decisions based on their locations.
With access to this information, farmers can make decisions that will sustainably increase their yield without harming the environment.