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Technical Note

AgroTutor: A Mobile Phone Application Supporting Sustainable Agricultural Intensification

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Ecosystems Services and Management Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), 2361 Laxenburg, Austria
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International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), 56237 Texcoco, Mexico
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Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute, National Agricultural and Food Centre, 821 09 Bratislava, Slovakia
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Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava, 814 99 Bratislava, Slovakia
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Decision and Policy Analysis (DAPA), International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Cali, 763537 Palmira, Colombia
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World Population Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), 2361 Laxenburg, Austria
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Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), 1020 Vienna, Austria
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Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (WIC), 1030 Vienna, Austria
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Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO), 1030 Vienna, Austria
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Institute for Advanced Studies, 1080 Vienna, Austria
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Department of Economics, Faculty of National Economy, University of Economics, 85235 Bratislava, Slovakia
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Department of Agricultural Economics, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9309; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229309
Received: 21 August 2020 / Revised: 22 October 2020 / Accepted: 6 November 2020 / Published: 10 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Smart Farming and Sustainability)
Traditional agricultural extension services rely on extension workers, especially in countries with large agricultural areas. In order to increase adoption of sustainable agriculture, the recommendations given by such services must be adapted to local conditions and be provided in a timely manner. The AgroTutor mobile application was built to provide highly specific and timely agricultural recommendations to farmers across Mexico and complement the work of extension agents. At the same time, AgroTutor provides direct contributions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, either by advancing their implementation or providing local data systems to measure and monitor specific indicators such as the proportion of agricultural area under productive and sustainable agriculture. The application is freely available and allows farmers to geo-locate and register plots and the crops grown there, using the phone’s built-in GPS, or alternatively, on top of very high-resolution imagery. Once a crop and some basic data such as planting date and cultivar type have been registered, the application provides targeted information such as weather, potential and historical yield, financial benchmarking information, data-driven recommendations, and commodity price forecasts. Farmers are also encouraged to contribute in-situ information, e.g., soils, management, and yield data. The information can then be used by crop models, which, in turn, send tailored results back to the farmers. Initial feedback from farmers and extension agents has already improved some of the application’s characteristics. More enhancements are planned for inclusion in the future to increase the application’s function as a decision support tool. View Full-Text
Keywords: volunteered geographic information; agricultural intensification; sustainability; smart farming; citizen science; SDGs; decision support tool volunteered geographic information; agricultural intensification; sustainability; smart farming; citizen science; SDGs; decision support tool
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MDPI and ACS Style

Laso Bayas, J.C.; Gardeazabal, A.; Karner, M.; Folberth, C.; Vargas, L.; Skalský, R.; Balkovič, J.; Subash, A.; Saad, M.; Delerce, S.; Crespo Cuaresma, J.; Hlouskova, J.; Molina-Maturano, J.; See, L.; Fritz, S.; Obersteiner, M.; Govaerts, B. AgroTutor: A Mobile Phone Application Supporting Sustainable Agricultural Intensification. Sustainability 2020, 12, 9309. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229309

AMA Style

Laso Bayas JC, Gardeazabal A, Karner M, Folberth C, Vargas L, Skalský R, Balkovič J, Subash A, Saad M, Delerce S, Crespo Cuaresma J, Hlouskova J, Molina-Maturano J, See L, Fritz S, Obersteiner M, Govaerts B. AgroTutor: A Mobile Phone Application Supporting Sustainable Agricultural Intensification. Sustainability. 2020; 12(22):9309. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229309

Chicago/Turabian Style

Laso Bayas, Juan C., Andrea Gardeazabal, Mathias Karner, Christian Folberth, Luis Vargas, Rastislav Skalský, Juraj Balkovič, Anto Subash, Moemen Saad, Sylvain Delerce, Jesús Crespo Cuaresma, Jaroslava Hlouskova, Janet Molina-Maturano, Linda See, Steffen Fritz, Michael Obersteiner, and Bram Govaerts. 2020. "AgroTutor: A Mobile Phone Application Supporting Sustainable Agricultural Intensification" Sustainability 12, no. 22: 9309. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229309

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