Technology transfer: Possibilities in resource management

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Technology transfer: Possibilities in resource management

Technology transfer: Possibilities in resource management

 An overview by WIN Foundation

(Author: Ms. Aishani Goswami)


‘What gets measured, gets managed’ is a quote often used in sustainable resource management discussions. Regular monitoring of land cover change, conducting tree and animal census forms the basis for forest management. Traditional agricultural practices were based in indigenous knowledge, organic inputs, and involved practice / experience based on people’s science. With advancements in science and increase in the scale of agriculture, use of technology in the farms becomes imperative. And in this context measuring parameters like soil moisture, water availability, soil and water quality, weather prediction will help farmers make educated decisions at her farm.


With our implementing partner, Arid Communities and Technologies, we envisioned an integrated agriculture-water-soil data monitoring system with an objective to give advisory to farmers to make farm level decisions, such as cropping patterns, water saving techniques, soil health improvement. It incorporates a multi-layered study of local geographic, climatic, hydro-geological, water and soil studies, by creating an integrated system of data collection, storage and analysis.

‘Bhujal Jankars’, who are community resource persons trained by us in practical applications of hydro-geology, play a key role in this process. They have a good rapport with the community, are scientifically informed and collect data for various parameters using respective instruments. We train them to understand

  1. The importance of data
  2. Science based farming practices
  3. Theory of data parameters such as soil moisture, groundwater level, TDS, soil quality parameters
  4. Interpreting data of above mentioned parameters
  5. Understanding trends and changes in data parameters
  6. Communicating and explaining to farmers about collected data

We have evolved data collection and storing techniques. What began as field diary entries, have become structured formats, to google forms and now a farmer App that we have developed in partnership with SoilSens. This app is connected with SoilSens soil moisture collection equipment, and also stores groundwater level and quality data, soil quality parameters, and weather parameters.




(Field soil testing kit and BJs measuring soil moisture on field)

(Integrated data system to measure different parameters)


Challenges and way forward:

Smart farming is an evolving field, and in our attempts of creating pilot farms implementing smart farming, we have learnt a lot.

  • It is important to understand the importance of data and regular data collection, and gradually build a vision around smart farming. In absence of such an understanding, regular data collection can seem to become monotonous and burdensome. So, at regular intervals we organise workshops with experts, farmers, Bhujal Jankars and our staff to build this vision.
  • Data can sometimes feel abstract, especially when it is stored on servers. So it is important for farmers and field teams to access data easily and make sense of it through visualisations, discussions with peers and guidance from subject experts.
  • It is also important to develop a language to communicate scientific concepts, data parameters and its application in farming to farmers. This language needs to be regional, clear and simple to understand.
  • Sometimes smart farming technology can seem daunting, especially to farmers who may not be exposed to it. So, it is important to train farmers in the practical applications of technology and handhold them till they feel confident enough to use and explore on their own.
  • As a process smart farming could involve multiple stakeholders including farmers, scientists, domain experts, startups and technology providers, NGOs, government. It is crucial to develop inclusive partnerships and ensure that the technology reaches the farmers in farmer-friendly ways.


If this is a topic that interests you, get in touch with us at, we are happy to learn from you and share our experiences.