Ginige, A., De Silva, L., Ginige, T., Pasquale, D., Walisadeera, A., Mathai, M., Goonetillake, J., Wikramanayake, G., Vitiello, G. & Sebillo, M. (2014). Towards an agriculture knowledge ecosystem :A social life network for farmers in Sri Lanka. L J Armstrong, A Neuhaus. 170-179. Australia: Australian Society of Information and Communication Technologies in Agriculture Inc..
We have developed and successfully trialled a Social Life Network (SLN); a Mobile Based Information System to support farming activities in Sri Lanka. It provides information required to support activities such as crop selection and cultivation planning in the context of farmer, farm location, season and task being performed. The system also provides a facility for farmers to sell farming related products and services to other farmers. The final system architecture evolved through a series of iterative relevance and design cycles based on Design Science Research methodology. In the first relevance cycle we identified farmer information needs, their current decision making patterns, and some possible ways to enhance their decision making process. In the first design cycles we developed the initial prototype to visualise a possible solution and in subsequent cycles a crop ontology to reorganise published crop information that would be queried in context and processes to empower farmers. Next we went through 2 cycles of creating functional prototypes, field testing with farmers and improving these to arrive at the final system. We noted that this system can enhance the flow of information in the agriculture domain by aggregating or disaggregating information produced by some stakeholders to be consumed by others. Based on this observation the overall architecture was reconceptualised as a Digital Knowledge Ecosystem.
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