Apps for handling data coming from participatory experimental fields of farmers belonging to seeds networks.

Challenge Description

The increase of diversity in farmers’ fields and the use of intraspecific diversity as management strategy to reduce the use of chemicals and to improve nutrition require an extensive knowledge of different varieties behaviour in term of response to biotic and abiotic stresses in several locations and in several years.

Working on locally adapted varieties, seed networks manage important data regarding varieties and persons managing such varieties with a high level of details for their own network. In particular they store information about varieties and their use by farmers in different areas and years, about the farm and agro ecological conditions of the farm and about traditional knowledge linked to the variety.

Different seed networks collect data for different purpose, however some variables could be of interest for other seeds networks or can be used by different networks to build synergies.

The use of a common database or at least a common format for data collection that allow an easy integration of data, if needed, could help in expanding the knowledge including additional locations, in case they use same varieties and exchange seeds.

Storing information about seed circulation and varieties performance is paramount to make the right choice of the varieties to grow in each environment and according to local needs.

By solving this challenge it is expected to develop an app that:

  • improve efficiency of data entry in a context that involve several people in several locations at the same time, reducing the risks of errors and facilitating the management and the analysis of data.
  • Allow the possibility to include new variables depending on the experimental design that can be different in different networks and different years within the same seed network.
  • allow the possibility to include/exclude different variables depending on the specific purpose of data collection of each seeds network
  • Allow to maintain the ownership and privacy of data collected for each networks, with the possibility to share selected data with other networks without too much additional work as seeds networks are often voluntary based organizations.

By addressing the listed challenges the end users will be able to combine their efforts and give more power to their work making available information that would be otherwise be wasted because both time and economic resources are lacking.

Having stronger database facilitate seeds networks work of advocacy as they can support their statement on the base of a large data collection work. This can be useful also for policy makers to demonstrate the benefits in supporting the use of agrobiodiversity in farmers’ fields.

The challenge will involve the creation of a mobile app allowing the user to collect the data following the data structure explained in the datasets provided. The app should generate for each plot a json file that stores all the explained data. The json plot data will be sent to an already existing web services that will be presented during the challenge.

The design of plot data collection will have some commons items but it would be a great plus if the app could be easily customized to allow the extension of the app to other crops or to some specific project requests.

If you are interested, please subscribe to this challenge here.

Datasets to be used

A dataset based on an experimental design for 3 crops is available here.