Farm-Ed

SITUATION

Project Everest is dedicated to helping realise the Sustainable Development Goals. Of these goals, Project Everest has been working on goal two, Zero Hunger: end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

In a number of developing countries, widespread inefficiencies in local agricultural industries contribute to food insecurity and import dependent food markets. In the hoping of making a varied and nutritious diet more affordable across the globe while ensuring local economic empowerment, Project Everest is seeking to improve agricultural productivity in Cambodia, Timor – Lesté, and Fiji, Malawi and Vietnam.

  • Project FarmEd is a response to a need for high-quality farming advice in Cambodia and Fiji.
  • Using cognitive computing technology, FarmEd aims to a special kind of “natural language chatbots” with libraries of agricultural knowledge to answer a myriad of questions relating to farming.
  • Project Everest has thus far been providing agricultural consulting to fee paying customers in Fiji, thus proving the concept and driving inspiration to develop the application.

MISSION

Project Everest is currently in the process of developing an information resource for farmers in rural Fiji and Cambodia. The proposed system, FarmEd, incorporates weather, soil and market data with optimised agricultural practice to provide farmers with time and location specific farming advice. Additionally, Project Everest hopes to complement this advice platform with data collected using drone technology; allowing insights into elevation data, changes in the landscape overtime due to rainfall and land size vs recorded produce to create yield data.

Up to this point in time, Project Everest has developed an understanding of the target beneficiaries (rural farmers in Fiji and Cambodia), an understanding of their needs, and has ideated a number of solutions to meet their needs. In terms of the design thinking process, Project Everest has so far conducted the Empathise, Define, and Ideate stages. The continuing stages are the Prototype and Test stages for both the FarmEd platform and complementary products, such as seed packs.

Of all ideated solutions, the only low-risk, scalable, socially beneficial, profitable solution has been FarmEd.

For FarmEd to approach completion two things must first be complete; the development of the FarmEd system, and the development of the suite of accompanying products. The next team will be working on testing parts of the web-app in the field and working with R&D to rapidly develop the application prototype for SMS and web browser formats.

The technical development of the application will continue once we understand how people will interact with the system and how they will be able to act following the advice. To do this effectively, a series of experiments have been designed to test key attributes of the system. These are outlined below.

Experiments

FarmEd is making strong progress and in order to ensure its success, there are a series of experiments that need to be run to build out the various areas of the start-up.

Agricultural Testing: Small blocks of land will be sourced to enable the team to test the farming practices in Fiji. This means ensuring that our recommendations will improve yields, as well as testing new ways of farming or new crop varieties. As the project continues, this team must assess the growth of the crop. This may be done with the use of drones or field observations.

Utilisation of Drone Technology, Software, and Parameter Analysis: This experiment is aimed at collecting and collating data for FarmEd from new and pre-existing networks. This includes operating drones, conducting soil tests and observing the given property to ensure the information given by the drones and the associated software is correct, i.e matches the findings from the field. As such, this team will responsible for mapping this data, such as topography, soil pH and plant health.

Supply Chain and Market Analysis: The team will be responsible for investigating available markets for farmers to sell their produce at. This includes gathering information about markets in the Sigatoka region, then assessing which market will be the most profitable for farmers. From these findings, the team will ideate ways to improve the current supply chain in the region whilst ensuring FarmEd suggests appropriate markets to relevant farmers.

User interface Analysis: One aim of FarmEd is to answer questions farmers have, in order to provide them with information to improve their farming system. To do this, extensive surveys will be conducted to understand what the farmers want and need to know. From this, the relevant answers or recommendations will be researched and pooled together into one database.

User Interface and Application Development: This experiment is essentially testing the FarmEd system, including how the data from the drones and other sources will be collated, assessed and integrated into the system. As such, this experiment will be based in Australia with close communication with the teams in country, plus training and access to industry professionals whilst on project. The user interface and app layout will be further developed and shared with in-country teams to test usability and output of the system. As such, direct feedback can be given to reiterate and improve the interface back in Australia.

ENDSTATE

The ideal end state is that Project Everest has a deployed FarmEd platform that can assist farmers in making better decisions and obtaining greater yields on their crops as well as a suite of products that will help these farmers to put this advice into action. Ultimately, Project Everest envisions this application to be highly scalable across countries and languages, however our aims for the coming year are to get a free, web browser-based service available to mobile customers in Cambodia and Fiji.

As the number of users, and consequently the amount of data that’s collected, Project FarmEd will be able to provide more valuable advice for disadvantaged farmers across the globe. Furthermore, it is anticipated that the data collected could be valuable to academic, government and commercial stakeholders, who all stand to benefit from access to reliable agricultural data produced in developing markets.

Location

Fiji & Cambodia 

Dates

Cost

EMPATHISE

DEFINE

IDEATE

PROTOTYPE

TEST

Academic Credit

All academic credit is subject to approval by each university. Please contact the relevant faculty to apply for academic credit.

University of Wollongong

CRLP200/201: Careers Ready Learning and Practice

UOW Careers Central offers this internship subject to all undergraduate students who have completed at least 72 credit points and have a weighted average mark of 60 or above. It can be taken as either a 6 or 8 credit point elective subject depending on its suitability with your course.

In CRLP200/201, students develop their ability to plan and manage their career and must complete a work experience component. A Project Everest project can account for this requirement.

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Enrolment in this subject enables you access to an OS-HELP loan. For more information on OS-HELP loans and to apply, please click here.

COMM391: Professional Experience in Business

Students who have completed 96 credit points including all Business 1st year core subjects can take part in a career ready learning elective, regardless of their degree that will count as credit and provide access to an OS HELP loan.

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Enrolment in this subject enables you access to an OS-HELP loan. For more information on OS-HELP loans and to apply, please click here.

Macquarie University

GLOBAL LEADERSHIP PROGRAM

Macquarie’s Global Leadership Program is an extracurricular program that can be undertaken alongside any degree at Macquarie. The Global Leadership Program has been designed so that students not only learn global skills and understanding – but put them into practice by studying, volunteering and participating in activities in Australia and overseas.
The GLP awards credit for academic and cultural experiences with an international component or cross-cultural focus to both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
By engaging in a range of internationally focused activities, Macquarie students get real experience at applying the concepts of cross-cultural understanding, all the while enhancing their resume.
A Project Everest Program may be attributed towards your GLP requirements. We encourage you to contact GLP staff directly to inquire further.

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Please note there is no formal partnership between Macquarie University and Project Everest.

University of Sydney

BUSS2503: COMMUNITY PLACEMENT PROGRAM

OPEN TO BUSINESS, SCIENCE AND COLLEGE OF ARTS FACULTIES

The Community Placement Program (CPP) provides students with the opportunity to work with a diverse range of social businesses. One of the fastest growing sectors in Australia and overseas, social enterprises aim to simultaneously create social and economic value by bringing social impact into the value chain of traditional business models.

As social businesses are often under-resourced, CPP students are relied upon to apply their knowledge, skills and energy to implement new products, marketing strategies or business processes. Students work in teams and are led by an academic and supported by professional staff who are focused on delivering a quality output for its partners. This hands-on experience enables students to contribute to positive change to the business, and more broadly, to the community that it serves.

Students must have completed 48 credit points towards their degree and have a credit point average.

CPP Applications close 21st October.

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Enrolment in this subject enables you access to an OS-HELP loan. For more information on OS-HELP loans and to apply, please click here.

ANFR4001 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT:

Students completing a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (BScAgr) degree at USYD are required to complete at least 40 days of approved professional experience, plus at least one Faculty Excursion. This experience is to be undertaken during vacation period and is part of a program of a 6 credit point unit of study entitled professional development (ANFR4001) that they complete throughout their degree.

A minimum of 15 days of the 40 day requirement must be completed as ‘On-Farm’/Field. The remainder is completed either on another on-farm/field placement or with organisations involved in agriculture, business, research and the resource industries and is known as ‘graduate’ experience.

Project Everest allows for BScAgr to undertake professional development counting towards 20 of the 40 days with 15 days contributing to the compulsory on farm days and 5 contributing towards non-farm days.

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University of Technology Sydney

BUiLD Abroad

BUiLD offers travel grants for BUiLD Abroad Programs for eligible students. If you are eligible, simply apply for the BUiLD Abroad program you want to join and the BUiLD team will assess your application for the program and the grant.

Note: Students who are not eligible for a grant may still apply to go on a BUiLD Abroad program and have the option to explore other avenues to fund their trip.

If you are looking for further funding to assist you to cover the financial costs of a BUiLD Abroad program, you may be eligible to apply for OS-HELP. If you are interested in applying for OS-HELP, please read the information on the OS-HELP website (opens an external site) and then contact the BUiLD team.

Projects run in Fiji and Cambodia may be eligible for BUiLD Abroad.

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University of New South Wales

SCIENCE INTERNSHIP

This course had been developed for students who find a work placement / internship either unpaid or paid and would like to receive academic credit for the placement.

This course will enable students to explore and gain a practical understanding of the requirements and expectations of the professional workplace through experiential learning. Students will develop their knowledge, capabilities and employability skills. Internships/work placements enable students to gain practical, supervised experience in the work place.

The course is available to domestic and international students. If a domestic or international student wishes to undertake an overseas work placement extra conditions will apply before the placement is approved.

Students must have a WAM of 65 with no more than 1 fail or above and have completed 48 units of credit to be eligible for this course.

Permission to enrol in SCIF2199 will only be granted if the work internship/work placement is compatible to the student’s major.

Enrolment in this subject enables you access to an OS-HELP loan. For more information on OS-HELP loans and to apply, please click here.

Click here for more information.