hackproject.org — Compost Digestion monitoring — {sh, August, 2016}

Kale Thami, who hails from Nepal, is a self-sustained farmer. He and his family consume everything they produce and there is nothing left. If his crops fail, it spells disaster for Kale and his family.

Kale raises guinea pigs, the waste of which he uses to make compost. Compost is vital to Kale Thami as, most times, that is the only fertilizer he uses for his crops of rice, wheat, potatoes and garden vegetables.

Kale Thami tells that undigested compost, if used, creates an environment for insects to grow that eat up the roots. If this happens then he has to look around each individual plant for these insects. Sometimes it can lead to total crop loss, as he mentions in the hackproject.org problem video :

Kale Thami explains his compost making problem

Since Kale Thami currently monitors his compost digestion just by the feel of his hands, he feels there must be better and more reliable methods to test this. He feels if technology could help him in any way in this it would make his life better.

Over 70% of rural Nepal is self sustained, agricultural community with most adults involved in agriculture. Based on needs of Kale Thami’s and farmers like him, design a compost monitoring kit that is affordable, reliable and usable by millions like him.

Design a compost monitoring kit that is affordable, reliable and usable by millions like him.

Compost monitoring relies on multiple factors, the most important of which are temperature, carbon dioxide, ammonia and moisture content. Raspberry pi, along with sensors, can be used to monitor many of these factors. Explore the usefulness of raspberry pi, sensors and smartphones to design the compost monitoring kit.

Update : as mentioned on the Nepali National news today, around 384 hectares of rice crop has been destroyed in Bardiya region due to an insect (gover Kira) whose source is undigested compost.

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