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Mobile app will power GreenSeeker use in South Asia

On-field App launch. Photo: CIMMYT-BISA

On-field App launch. Photo: CIMMYT-BISA

CIMMYT and the Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA) have jointly developed and launched an application for Android called “N Calculator,” to support smallholder farmers using the GreenSeeker, a compact sensor to quickly assess crop vigour and calculate optimal fertilizer dosages. Held in the CIMMYT-CCAFS climate-smart village (CSV) Noorpur Bet of Ludhiana, Punjab, India, the launch was led by John Snape, CIMMYT Board Chair.

The Greenseeker ensures accurate and balanced nitrogen fertilizer applications, cutting farmers’ costs, reducing nitrification and nitrogen runoff into groundwater and water systems, and raising crop yields. But smallholder farmers often lack the training to interpret the raw data from the GreenSeeker. N Calculator automatically calculates the best nitrogen and urea rate using normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) values from GreenSeeker, and right on a mobile handset.

“The application will help scale out GreenSeeker technology and precision nitrogen management in wheat-based systems in South Asia, among other things reducing emissions of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas,” said M.L. Jat, CIMMYT cropping systems agronomist. “It will also be critical for extension agents to scale out climate-smart agriculture practices across the region.”

Delegates including the BISA Executive Committee and national scientists interacted with farmers and members of farmer cooperatives who are actively disseminating climate-smart agriculture practices.

Participants included S. Ayyapan, DG (ICAR); Thomas A Lumpkin, director general, CIMMYT; Marianne Bänziger, deputy director general for research and partnerships, CIMMYT; Nicole Birrel, CIMMYT board member; Anthony De Sa IAS, Chief Secretary of Madhya Pradesh; B.S. Dhillon, Vice Chair of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU); Suresh Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary of Punjab; B.S. Sidhu, Agriculture Commissioner of Punjab; and H.S. Gupta, Director General, BISA.