Over the years, the Indian coffee industry has earned a distinct identity on the coffee map of the world. India is today home to 16 unique varieties of coffees sourced from 13 distinct coffee growing regions; most of them in the southern part of the country. The Rainforest Alliance has identified a need for more capacity and knowledge on Good Agricultural Practices for coffee and learning interventions directed to farmers. The Rainforest Alliance is interested in exploring whether it can enrich its toolkit of learning interventions by utilizing mobile technology using the experience gained by the SmartFarming team.
Together with the Rainforest Alliance and a group of Indian coffee producers (Western Gaths Sustainable Farming Consortium) we are working on a coffee app aiming to make the dissemination of knowledge and information to the coffee producers a notch up. A platform that brings the smallholder coffee growers together towards sustainable coffee farming. The app called My Crop Care, is designed to be a scalable way to provide agronomical support. The My Crop Care app provides farmers with valuable and time-boxed advises on agricultural practices to adopt in their farm, leading to increased sustainability and productivity of the farm. Features of the app include; calculation tools for irrigation and fertilizer needs, local languages and offline availability, tailored day-to-day advice, picture-based identification of crop stress, weather forecasts, yield estimation tool for coffee estates
The app is currently being piloted in Karnataka. This region has been selected because farmers in this area have a medium to high literacy rate and smartphone ownership is high. Farmers have been actively involved using a user-centred design approach.