Landinfo Mobile App Workshop

Landinfo Mobile App

The African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS) is a network that is dedicated to improving farming activities worldwide through Science and Technology Innovations (STI). On the 11th of September, 2018, ATPS and the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) in coordination with the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST), conducted a training course which was aimed at unveiling and reviewing the LandInfo app to various stakeholders. The workshop started 9:00 am at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe.

The Land Potential Knowledge System (LandPKS), an umbrella system of the ATPS network, started developing the LandInfo app in 2012. Further research was done for the next 3 years to develop the technology. Five countries in Africa so far, has been subject of the series of trainings of the ATPS network of the app. These countries include Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia and Malawi. Currently the landInfo Mobile App works on android and iOS devices and it can freely been downloaded from google play and app store.

The LandInfo, is a mobile app that allows individuals and organizations to use a smart mobile phone to determine various factors that are going to affect their farming on the specified location based on local and global knowledge and information about the potential of similar types of land (i.e. land with similar climate, soil and topography). LandInfo app basically measures land potential using data entered manually, GPS and/or phone cameras and in turn obtain site specific data including temperature, rainfall, estimated amount of water the soil can store for plants and growing season length.

Field data are captured into the LandInfo by two ways. Firstly, by a field of observational assessment of the land cover type, use, slope, shape, occurrence of soil erosion, runoff and soil conditions is conducted and inputted into the app. Secondly, in order to examine the soil texture, up to 1 meter depth of the soil is excavated showing the different layers and types of soil layers.

GPS is very crucial to the LandInfo App and users must make sure that GPS (location) is turned on on their devices before initiating the app. GPS is used to gather data coordinates from the satellites. Another crucial feature, is data connection. Users must make sure that they have data connection turned on and working or they must be connected to a WiFi connection before initiating the app.

Using the information provided by the app concerning the land potential production, productivity and possible risks, users will be able to make choices on how best they can cultivate on that particular land. The LandInfo app will therefore, provide the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) bridge between farmers and their farming activities.

Going back to the question earlier on, one of the main causes of the scenario, is that Africa lack technological advancements to produce enough food to feed ourselves though there is a large number of farmers in Africa. So the LandInfo app will only help to reduce this catastrophe by providing ICT advancements to the agricultural sector both in Africa and the rest of the world.