Agricultural cooperatives and application of wireless sensor networks: Towards improving productivity on small-scale farms

BioFatemeh Taheri

Fatemeh Taheri is a PhD student at Rural Development Economics group, Department of Agricultural Economics in Ghent University. She holds a master degree in Agricultural Engineering from Ramin Agricultural and Natural Resources University of Khuzestan, Iran. Fatemeh’s main research interests include rural development, agricultural economics, food security and farming systems. She is currently working with Prof. Marijke D'Haese on a project, entitled “Agricultural cooperatives and application of wireless sensor networks: Towards improving productivity on small-scale farms”, funded by the Special Research Fund of Ghent University.

Research

Awareness is increasing that small-scale farming practices must be tailored to location-specific needs to achieve higher productivity and minimize risks to the environment. Precision agriculture (PA) is introduced to enable the farmers to know what amount of fertilizers, pesticide, seed and other inputs should be applied in their farming systems. One of the proficient tools in the PA technological package is wireless sensor networks (WSNs) that can offer farmers real-time field data from sensors distributed in the field. The application of WSN is understood as an effective way for utilizing resources and enhancing crop productivity. Although WSNs in agriculture is showing progress, it is often seen as a far-fetched idea for small-scale farmers in developing countries. Agricultural cooperatives could be used to facilitate the adoption of WSNs amongst small-scale farmers by collective marketing and improving accessibility to WSNs, providing knowledge, resources and support services. Fatemeh’s ongoing research aims at analyzing the role cooperatives could play in facilitating the adoption of WSNs amongst small-scale farmers.

Supervision:  Prof. Marijke D’Haese (Promotor); Prof. Dieter Fiems (Co-promotor); Dr. Hossein Azadi (Co-promotor)

Keywords

Agricultural cooperatives; information and communication technology; precision agriculture; rural development

Publications

Contact details

Fatemeh.Taheri@UGent.be
Coupure Links 653 (Office A2.096)
B-9000 Ghent
+32 9 264 62 04