Smart phone based mushroom farming monitoring model
Agriculture being a key indicator of Kenya‟s economy in the past and recent makes it a searing focus point for farmers who are focusing on starting or growing their agricultural ventures in the country. Notably, a majority of Kenya‟s arable land has been dedicated to agriculture given the good tropical weather favoring the agricultural sector. More specifically, mushroom farming which is a type of horticultural farming, is gaining sound ground in Kenya. However, a problem arises herein because most farmers venture into mushroom farming with little knowledge from experts mainly because information on mushroom farming has not been well consolidated for utilization by the farmers throughout all the phases in mushroom farming. Consequently, this makes it difficult for the mushroom farmers to make reference to correct literature during the mushroom farming process. The solution to this matter, that is, to effectively optimize mushroom farming, the farmers need an efficient monitoring tool to guide them on monitoring of the mushroom growth. The approach taken to achieve this was to come up with a mushroom farming monitoring tool. The monitoring happens from the planning phase to the harvesting phase. Consequently, this study proposed a mobile, to be used by the mushroom farmers for monitoring of mushroom cultivation all the way from planning to harvest of mushrooms. A mushroom monitoring model was developed, enabling farmers to track the growth of the mushrooms from planting to harvesting. Through this, the farmers are able to know when the time nears and/or reaches for a particular phase in the mushroom growing process. The model was tested on the mobile platform on phones which run on the Android Operating System, with an aim of confirming whether or not the user requirements for the proposed mushroom monitoring model were met.