Conference paper

Wireless Sensor Networking for Rain-fed Farming Decision Support

Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) can be a valuable decision- support tool for farmers. This motivated our deployment of a WSN system to support rain-fed agriculture in India. We defined promising use cases and resolved technical challenges throughout a two-year deployment of our COMMON- Sense Net system, which provided farmers with environment data. However, the direct use of this technology in the field did not foster the expected participation of the population. This made it difficult to develop the intended decision-support system. Based on this experience, we take the following position in this paper: currently, the deployment of WSN technology in developing regions is more likely to be effective if it targets scientists and technical personnel as users, rather than the farmers themselves. We base this claim on the lessons learned from the COMMON-Sense system deployment and the results of an extensive user experiment with agriculture scientists, which we describe in this paper.

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