Virtually every small-holder farmer in the Democratic Republic of Congo either owns or has access to a mobile phone capable of running applications. Therefore, we propose the development of a mobile phone application that would enable small-holder farmers to employ yield goals, split application of N fertilizer, and adjust fertilizer application rates for changes in plant population, plant seeding rates and variety used. Making available a mobile phone application in Congolese French or in one or more local dialects would allow farmers to adjust the amount of fertilizer applied to crop plants and thus take advantage of yield goals, split application techniques, or adjustments for variety and/or plant populations.
Success in farming depends, to a large extent, on the ability of farmers to access technologies appropriate to their conditions. Agriculture in the industrialized world has become a highly specialized, productive, and profitable enterprise due in large part to the efforts of personnel in agricultural research and agricultural extension systems that have made new technologies available to commercial farmers. Farmers in DRC need similar access to new agronomic technologies, but they need technologies that are appropriate for the tools and resources that they have available. Our team is a joint effort here at Texas A&M University and in the Democratic Republic of Congo to help make that technology a reality and available to the farmers who need it most.