Home › Newsroom › Students develop winning mobile solution for rice farmers
Jointly developed by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Philippines Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) from a Japanese prototype, the Leaf Color Chart (LCC) is used as an index to measure the nutrients status and quality of palay crops and thereby determine the required quantity of nitrogen to be applied in the rice field for maximum productivity.
Thanks to a group of students from the Bataan State Peninsula University, the LCC can now be used to help more farmers increase their chances of a good palay harvest as long as they have a smart phone and Internet connectivity.
Combining LCC with the power of technology, graduating ECE students Maria Crizele M. De Jesus, Alejandro P. Garcia Jr., Jun Alvin O. Galang, Jairus J. Fernando and McJefren S. Quiñones have come up with a mobile application called “Palay Quality Checker through Leaf Coloration by Image Analysis”.
The application, which runs on Android, presents an advanced, more accurate and convenient diagnostic method of testing palay based on the estimation and comparison of LCC and chlorophyll content of leaves using image processing.
It won the grand prize in the new mobile application development category introduced this year at the 8th SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards of Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) held recently at the SMX Convention Center. A grand prize of P100,000 was awarded to the team led by De Jesus.
“Their application addressed a specific need in a specific community, but it is also a very elegant and integrated solution. The team created both the application in the front end and then the algorithm in the back end to make a complete product for the farmer,” says Smart Strategic Business Development Department Head Earl Valencia, chairman of the board of judges.
“We wanted to address the issue on food sustainability to help the farmers,” says De Jesus. From a list they obtained from the office of municipal agriculture, the team visited farmers and conducted tests in 10 rice fields.
“We did field testing to evaluate the effectiveness and accuracy of our application and to get feedback from the farmers themselves. They appreciated our project and saw its potential to help agriculture in the country. Contrary to what we initially thought, the farmers although advanced in age actually welcomed the use of technology,” shares Garcia.
It is literally putting innovative technology in the palm of the hands of the farmers. The application is compose of a program that can detect and analyze the color of the palay leaves using the input from the camera of a smartphone. The color will then be compared to a standard color reference on the program and the application will display the significant deficiencies and give suggestions to improve the quality of the palay.
“We assigned minimum and maximum RGB values for each color in the LCC to determine the range or corresponding LCC panel the color of the leaf samples taken will fall under,” explains Quiñones.
To get accurate results there are set guidelines to be followed. When taking photos of the sample leaves, the mobile phone should be 2.5 to 3.5 inches away. The flash should be turned off. The leaf being photographed should not be exposed to direct sunlight.
Taking images of leaf samples should be done between 8am to 10am only. Required is random selection of 10 sample leaves per hectare of rice field. Testing is carried out every week.
The program menu also requires specific information for proper analysis – time of day between 8 am to 10 am that the image was taken, current season (dry or wet) and the rice variety.
“If it is hybrid rice and the samples taken fall under LCC panel number 4, then that means we have to apply fertilizer. If the samples fall under LCC panel number 5, it’s of good quality and there is no need to apply fertilizer,” explains De Jesus.
According to the team, the application will also benefit farmers with blurred vision or those who are color blind. It can also serve to attract the younger members of farming families. “Our generation is into gadgets, technology. We like our tasks simplified with the use of gadgets,” notes Fernando.
All five members of the team are first-timers at the SWEEP Awards, held annually by Smart Communications, Inc. since 2004. It aims to promote a culture of innovation and excellence in wireless applications development among partner schools under the Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program, an industry-academe partnership that seeks to raise the level of technology and engineering education in the country.
In addition to the main category, a second category on mobile application development was launched this year to encourage the creation of mobile apps that run on Android, ranging from entertainment to social networking apps to productivity and privacy tools.
“We are happy and thankful for the opportunity and chance to participate in the SWEEP Awards. It is a great experience for all of us,” says Galang.
Maria Crizele De Jesus holds up a Leaf Color Chart during the presentation on the Bataan Peninsula State University’s“Palay Quality Checker through Leaf Coloration by Image Analysis”.
The team behind the first grand prize winner of the SWEEP Awards mobile apps development category (from left)McJefren Quiñones, Jairus Fernando, team leader Maria Crizele De Jesus, Alejandro Garcia, Jr. and Jun Alvin Galang.
Manage your account online!
Check your balance, pay your bills and more!
Discover how you can
Subscribe to E-Newsletter!
Follow us on Twitter!
See which Smart product is for you!
Collect Your Rewards
About Smart | Contact | Careers | Business Opportunities | Sitemap
© 2008 Smart Communications. All Rights ReservedA subsidiary of PLDT