2021 | Agribusiness | Ethiopia | Promising | SDG1 | SDG10 | SDG12 | SDG13 | SDG2 | SDG3 | SDG6 | SDG8
AI based SmallFarm Land Farmers Decision Support System Pilot Project

1. General


SDG 1: No Poverty

SDG 2: Zero Hunger

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

SDG 10: Reduced Inequality

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

SDG 13: Climate Action



2. Project Details

Company or Institution

Addis Ababa Science and Technology University


AI based SmallFarm Land Farmers Decision Support System Pilot Project

General description of the AI solution

As there are frequent hunger in Africa and in Ethiopia in particular due to different reasons such as drought, conventional farming, etc., there is shortage of food. In this project, we develop cost effective IoT framework to provide accurate agricultural information to the farmers through mobile apps or alerting via SMS text messages. The framework is designed to work for farmers who owns small-land holders. The framework is designed and built on top of the existing communication and incorporates cost-effective responsive AI solutions. The framework is composed of different sensors such as soil moisture sensor, temperature sensor, PH sensor, precipitation sensor, and combines these information with local meteorological information, satellite imagery data can also be incorporated to improve the prediction capability of the machine learning model so that farmers get most reliable information about their farm, which crop type to plant, at what time, which fertilizer to use, and early on warning about the weather and climate condition to take the necessary actions at the right time. The proposed technology is low cost, long-range WAN for receiving data and GSM.




Addis Ababa Science and Technology University

3. Aspects

Excellence and Scientific Quality: Please detail the improvements made by the nominee or the nominees’ team or yourself if your applying for the award, and why they have been a success.

Our AI based solution is presented at conceptual or Idea level. The proposed AI based solution is cost effective IoT framework and research application which have been carried out in most African countries for boosting productivity of the farmers who own small lands by installing different ICT-based solutions. The performance of the proposed AI solution and algorithm is measured using various metrics such as accuracy of information from sensors, accuracy of predicted information by the trained model, the agricultural experts will be employed to validate the proposed solution at the prototypical stage. In addition, the ICT experts and researchers will collaborate in the project team and before/during implementation the intermediate outcomes are assessed and monitored and if there is any error, corrective action will be taken by the team. The process of iterative approach is followed till sufficient level of performance is acquired.

Scaling of impact to SDGs: Please detail how many citizens/communities and/or researchers/businesses this has had or can have a positive impact on, including particular groups where applicable and to what extent.

The proposed solution is to provide farmers the most accurate and timely information about their farms what crop to plant, when to plant, what fertilizer to use and its productivity. Once it is tested and validated at prototypical stage. The system can be implemented at real-time and scaled up to more number of small farm land holders. The productivity of the farm lands per hectare for a particular crop type is known from the past data by national agricultural research center.
So, after implementing the AI based IoT solution, the productivity of the land per hectare can be predicted and known in practice. As productivity of the land increases, sufficient food will be available to the consumers (SDG 1 to SDG 3, SDG 8, SDG 10 and SDG 12 goals will be addressed). If there is any change of weather (in turn climate change) from the normal in a particular region, the farmers are informed and disaster recovery plan will get timely information from the prediction of the AI models in the IoT platform (This secures SDG 3 and SDG 13).

Scaling of AI solution: Please detail what proof of concept or implementations can you show now in terms of its efficacy and how the solution can be scaled to provide a global impact ad how realistic that scaling is.

Besides, the above-mentioned scope, its functionality can be extended to provide early on alert information about disease, pests, water levels or any hazard weather conditions to take necessary action. The proposed solution can also be extended to directly connect farmers to sell their crops to the retails and increase their revenue from their crops at the right time with fair price which cuts intermediate associated costs as part of smart contract (i.e. block chain of different stakeholders). With such new platform, the farmers can get more advisory information and training from agricultural centers through these platform. And also can connect financial services and market information that connects buyers directly and increase their income. As the proposed communication works in low-resourced setting and can be scaled up to manage irrigation too. This scale up plans will address the remaining SDG goals (i.e. SDG, 4, 6, 9, 16 and SDG 17)

Ethical aspect: Please detail the way the solution addresses any of the main ethical aspects, including trustworthiness, bias, gender issues, etc.

The most potential risks of the proposed IoT solution include (i) the inefficient infrastructure such as electric power and slow Internet connection (ii) lack of awareness and education of the farmers, (iii) the overall initial cost might be higher, and (iv) lack of organized crop behavioral data might be taken as risk. The chosen communication technology and other device/sensors installation should be secure physically and electronically to avoid exposing confidential, informed consent of the farmers and their property. LoRaWAN has security feature and is configured to access only essential components of the system in anonymized way with no harm. The society needs to have frequent education that the IoT framework provides timely information to increase productivity of their small farmland, saving cost, connects their buyer by reducing costs related to brokers. The well being of their life style getting improved through utilization of innovative technologies rather than do as usual


International Research Centre
on Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI)
under the auspices of UNESCO 

Jožef Stefan Institute
Jamova cesta 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana



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