A Decision Support System for Enhancing Crop Productivity of Smallholder Farmers in Semi-Arid Agriculture
|Author(s)||Ayubu J. Churi, Malongo R. S. Mlozi, Henry Mahoo, Siza D. Tumbo, Respickius Casmir|
|Issue Date||August, 2013|
|Publishing Date||August, 2013|
|Keywords||decision support system, strategic and tactical decisions, crop productivity, mobile phone, agriculture|
This study aimed at investigative decision support systems for assisting strategic and tactical decision making of smallholder farmers to reduce climate risks and increase crop productivity of semi-arid areas. Specifically, the study assessed farm-level decisions used by the farmers for reducing climate risks; examined information communication and knowledge sharing strategies for enhancing decision making and designed a system for assisting the farmers in selecting appropriate options for improving crop productivity. Development of DSS was governed by design science where prototyping approach was used to allow complete participation of end-users. The proposed architecture allows difference agricultural actors participate in communicating agricultural information and sharing of knowledge with smallholder farmers. The DSS was implemented and assessed by farmers as a useful tool for accessing information and advisories in agricultural systems. More research is recommended to enable simple and affordable mobile phones be used by farmers to access wealth of agricultural knowledge and policies from research centres and government resources.