A Fuzzy-Based Sustainable Solution for Smart Farming

A Fuzzy-Based Sustainable Solution for Smart Farming

Kavita Pandey (Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, India) and Shikha Jain (Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, India)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9175-7.ch007


Agriculture is an important sector in many developing countries, but the traditional methods are not sufficient to produce a good amount of crop. Moreover, the natural calamities are also destroying a large portion of the crop. Hence, this chapter proposes a prototype model, AgriHelp, to address an agricultural issue using fuzzy logic. The model takes two parameters as input: when and where the farmer wants to sow the crop. Using this information along with available dataset, AgriHelp extracts the expected min-max temperature, rainfall and soil type in the region in the specified season and suggests the best-suited crop to the farmer. The model can further be extended by incorporating more features.
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Agriculture is one of the life-sustaining aspects of a country’s economic system. It is an important sector in many developing countries like India as several acres of land is used to grow various kinds of crops such as staples, vegetables, spices, pulses, etc. India is leading the world in producing a huge variety of staples. By exporting the different products, a nice amount of revenue is generated every year. India is the second largest producer and exporter of spices (“Spice Board”, n.d.). Globally, it ranks second in rice and tea production. The agriculture sector counts 16%of total GDP in Indian economy (Datt and Mahajan, 2011).

The agriculture sector has two-fold advantages. It renders employment opportunities to numerous individuals on a large scale and at the same time, it fulfills the need of society to live a healthy life. It is an imperative source of their livelihood. Moreover, life can’t be imagined without the hard work of farmers. They are the one who works behind the scene as an indirect source in placing the food on our dining table. On the other side of the coin, agriculture is an imperative source of the farmer’s livelihood.

Though more than half of the total acquired land is used for agriculture in India, it contributes only 16% to the total GDP in the economy. There are many reasons behind this non-performance in the agriculture sector. One of the most important reasons is poverty and illiterateness among farmers. Although many times, the government comes forward with various policies (“Programmes and Schemes”, n.d.) but due to lack of access to the actual data and appropriate analysis, it fails to extend help to the actually needy farmers (“Reducing Poverty”, n.d.). Even the government sets various forums to provide consultancy (Agropedia, n.d.) related to various agricultural issues. However, very few farmers are benefitted by such programs due to unawareness about these services and new technologies. Sometimes, even if they are aware, they are not able to utilize the resources to improve the quality and production of the crops as it requires high investment. Their dependence on natural resources and the use of traditional technologies is another cause of hindrance towards achieving the aim of economically viable production.

Nevertheless, the main challenge is thrown by our mother, Nature. Extensive use of natural resources and hazardous chemicals has to lead to serious environmental issues such as climate change, global warming and pollutions. Many times, it results in unexpected rainfall which further causes either flood or drought. It precipitates devastation of a large portion of crops every year. Due to the high cost of seeds, pesticides and other growing equipment, farmers spent a lot of money in growing the crop. Even sometimes they take a loan for bearing the associated investment. As time passes, the farmer is in a handful of debts and it is very difficult for him to survive and fill the needs of his family. Many farmers are unable to bear this loss and sometimes they decide to end their life. As per the latest report of the year 2018, 639 farmers have committed suicide between March and May 2018 in Maharashtra, India (News18, n.d.). Some decide to quit the farming and do something else. According to the report (DowntoEarth, n.d.) the stress, poor income, no future prospects are some of the reasons for stepping out this kind of decisions. Due to these reasons, even farmers don't want their children to choose agriculture as a career option.

As per the survey (DowntoEarth, n.d.) conducted through 18 states, it is revealed that 70% of farmer respondents prefer to do something else other than farming. The main reason for their decision is low crop yield. According to them, the main causes of low production are either pest attack or unpredictable weather conditions like a flood, drought, unnecessary rains, etc. Sometimes, the farmer explores the non-eco-friendly solution like an excessive amount of pesticide to increase the crop yield. As a result, the quality of the crop and land fertility gets affected. Recently farmers of Maharashtra and Odisha conducted a rally and walked 180 KMs for demanding compensation of their crops (India News-Times of India, n.d.).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Precision Agriculture: It is also known as satellite agriculture. All the pertinent information like water level, soil quality, air quality, temperature, etc. are gathered in real time. The modern technologies analyze this information and encourage the needed substances for better efficiency.

Protected Farming: The kind of farming with greenhouses where traditional farming is preposterous due to poor soil quality or water deficiency on a land.

Farming: It is a process of planting seeds, animals rearing, growing crops and plants to satisfy the consumptions of society.

GDP: The term which depicts the overall development rate and economic activity of a country.

Fuzzy Inference System: It is a framework which depicts the actual process of converting an input into an output using fuzzy logic. Fuzzification, defuzzification, membership function are the building blocks of fuzzy inference system.

Sustainable Agriculture: The agricultural practices whose aim is to fulfill the needs of present by keeping the future intact. Productivity should be high but by keeping the nature sound and quality flawless.

Fuzzy Rule: These are the rules of inference in fuzzy logic which decides the value of an output variable based on values of input variables.

Sustainable: In simplest terms, sustainable means live the present but not at the expense of compromising the future. A sustainable solution for agriculture implies providing an economical, ecological, high productivity solution to the society.

Management Information System: Management information system gathers the data from multiple sources and utilizes this information to make the valuable decisions.

Fuzzification: It is a process to convert inputted binary value into fuzzified value. Any vague or imprecise term which we speak in routine like happy, beautiful, good, etc. can be converted into a mathematical model using fuzzification.

Fuzzy Membership Function: It is a way of representing degree of truthness in graphical form.

Time Series Algorithm: A set of algorithmic procedures that analyze the past information gathered at regular interims (time series data) and predicting the future.

Defuzzification: This process is reverse of fuzzification which changes the fuzzified values back to quantified values in binary logic, after the complete processing is over.

Computational Intelligence: The term computational intelligence refers to applying the distinct techniques, mainly neural networks, fuzzy logic, evolutionary computation, and machine learning to systems so that their learning ability would be improved.

Smart Farming: The use of present advancements and tools are emphasized to achieve the high quality and supplementary quantity production aim, is known as smart farming.

Fuzzy Logic: Fuzzy logic is a computing approach based on multi-valued logic where the variable can take any real number between 0 and 1 as a value based on degree of truthness.

Organic Farming: It is a method of farming where the usage of natural substances as pesticides and fertilizers are emphasized in comparison to synthetic substances with an intend of growing the crops in ecofriendly environment.

Agriculture: It involves the science and art in food cultivation and rearing animals.

Traditional Farming: The ancient way of agriculture which we practice since thousands of years is known as traditional farming.

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