Poor pulse production has been a major concern for farmers across the country. To combat the situation, Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) is working on developing a mobile application to improve pulse production in the state.
"Most farmers here are not aware of good farm practices. As a result, they end up incurring huge losses. With most of them using Android phones, the application can help them find solutions to practical problems," said vice chancellor of the varsity, S N Pasupalak.
The application will be like a plant doctor an app developed by the National Rice Research Institute (NRRI) to detect any disease or pest attack in plants and also prescribe solutions.
He added that the university has also taken up projects at three Krishi Vigyan Kendras in Kalahandi, Jajpur, Chipilima and Centre for Pulses Research, Berhampur on dal cultivation on a pilot basis.
"The focus of the projects would be on mung dal and black gram cultivation. More than 1000 quintal of pulse seeds will be distributed among the farmers of the locality," said Pasupalak.
The challenges faced by pulses farmers in the state are shortage of good quality seeds and lack of use of technology in cultivation, he added. Farmers can also avail themselves of technical support and expert guidance on the latest farm practices through the new application.
While the state requires about seven lakh metric tonne of pulses per annum, it produces only 80,000 to one lakh metric tonne every year. Pasupalak further said, "To ensure a wider reach of our latest research outcomes, the varsity has decided to make more use of ICT tools."