Agriculturists can soon analyse  soil properties through their mobile phones. Agrihackathon-PhilRice

Information Technology students from the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) developed “SoilMate,” a mobile application that can show soil properties, color groups, and productivity.

The app has a Geographic Positioning System or GPS feature that can locate the origin of the soil. Starting off within the provinces in Central Luzon, it is expected to guide agriculturists, farmers and researchers to identify the soil series in a specific location through simple steps.

Janndel Rosario, Gengee Madarang, and Ramon Rama of CLSU developed the app under the Enclosed Field Category aimed at creating or enhancing an app from PhilRice. The app was based on the guidebook Simplified Keys to Soil Series produced by the Institute.

SoilMate was the grand winner in the 2nd AgriHackathon, an application development competition, organized by the Information Systems Division (ISD) of PhilRice.

Once fully developed, users can also use the app to identify soil properties and soil management recommendations.

The developers acknowledged that this kind of app is highly technical and needs crowdsourcing. But with guidance from PhilRice, the students hope that they can come up with a solid app that can significantly help our farmers and experts in soil management.

Compared to hardcopy literatures of the soil series, ISD Head Jovino De Dios said that a digital version like a mobile app has a higher potential in terms of accuracy on soil identification and analysis.

Meanwhile, “Digital Leaf Color Analyzer” won the Open Category developed by Mark Angelo Pitogo, Kier Joseph Navarro, and Roberto Ross Melgar from the Asian Institute of E-Commerce, Gapan City. The app creates a digital leaf color chart using an RGB sensor.

In the Battle Field Category (game development), a time-based simulator called “Purantochi” won first place. The game provides basic knowledge on raising and caring a plant. It was developed by John Walter Galicia, John Carlo Inocencio, Lemuel Ignacio, and Marc Martin from CLSU.

“AgriHackathon is our way to gather new ideas and innovations from various groups to create an efficient agricultural information system that we can use in our research and development initiatives,” De Dios said.

The competition was sponsored by Smart Communications, S1 Technologies, Microsoft Philippines, PowerNet, and Mobility.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute