Automated, Robotic, Precise, Innovative Agricultural Techniques to Combat Environmental, Locale-Specific Issues Resulting in Amelioration of the Emancipated Condition of the Local Populace of Africa.

SUMMARY

This plan showcases automated agricultural solutions for alleviating the adversities faced in Africa due to climatic vagaries, pest infestation, inadequate infrastructure and human resource.

ESTIMATED COST: $0
LOCATION(S): General

Automated, Robotic, Precise, Innovative Agricultural Techniques to combat environmental, locale specific issues resulting in amelioration of the emancipated condition of the local populace of Africa.

Introduction

This plan focuses to provide a series of innovative and automated solutions for alleviating the adversities faced by African farmers due to climatic vagaries, pest infestation, lack of man power, lack of requisite infrastructure and soil infertility issues. I am formulating three solution driven plans with a common focus to achieve the main objective of eradicating the African Continent of the entrenched poverty and starvation proliferating in the contemporary times. This is my first proposed plan and I will be uploading the others in the subsequent competition time frames as those are still in the inception stage. I am propounding various automated and customized approaches taking the climatic conditions, terrain attributes and major crops into perspective. To achieve the important goal of a good agricultural yield while keeping region specific parameters and constraints into perspective is a formidable one. The main objective is to abet the African farmer's plight and to improve their standard of living. I am providing a visualization/conceptualization of an integrated and comprehensive robotic agricultural infrastructural implementation in Africa which can replace the existing conventional ones. I have also recapitulated the companies and entities that are currently providing these solutions and can also provide customized built to order components. By implementing robotic farming in Africa the goal of procuring a better yield from a given plot of land will be met. It will also be more efficient, monitored, less strenuous for farmers and the crop will be less disease ridden. The framework activities for this robotic endeavour requires identification of the various tasks, milestones and deliverables. Furthermore monitoring the progress, feasibility, ensuring quality control and the incremental steps that need to be taken regularly for it to be perfected and actualized over time are paramount. The final output will be that the monetary gains will increase phenomenally most of it will be used for the upliftment of the African society. This approach will definitely be more successfully because an automated robotic solution will be maximizing precision, minimising resource dissipation and ensuring an optimized and secure monitoring of the automated process as compared to the arcane farming techniques practiced in the contemporary times.

Needs Assessment:

The regions of Africa requires analysis in depth to identify the collection of issues in the region that are retarding further advancement in the arena of agricultural progress. The main factors are climatic extremities, poor infrastructure, and lack of education, funds, communication and lack of human resources resulting from all the above factors.

My strategy is multi faceted/pronged. I am segmenting the African continent into the pre determined topographical areas, enlisting the diverse predicaments faced by agriculturists in that demographical area and propounding a combination of solutions to resolve the issues by focusing on an automated solution to grow the main crops. The solution space can vary from compromising of just one strategy to it being composed of multifarious approaches. The proposed solutions can be amended and compounded on for value amelioration and augmentation of agricultural progression. These are the sustainable techniques of the future.

According to the online Wikipedia resource Africa can be subdivided into five sub regions. These regions can classified into Northern Africa, Western Africa, Central Africa, Eastern and Southern Africa .I am enumerating the climatic conditions, and the main crops grown to depict and provide solutions for the hardships and travails faced by the indigenous people.

  • Northern Africa: This encompasses the north eastern regions of Africa. The countries included in the northern regions are Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Western Sahara.
  • Climatic Conditions: The climate in the northern regions of Africa is arid and dry. The northern region has primarily Desert and Steppe climatical conditions. Sahara desert is one of the main parts of the northern regions. The temperature ranges from sixty degree Fahrenheit to hundred degrees Fahrenheit and the precipitation is negligent. The desert conditions of heat, lack of water and poor fertility are the main hindrance for agricultural yield in these regions. These problems can be handled by growing crops that can tolerate very high temperatures, indoor farming, and procuring water by storing it in reservoirs for the particular season and nourishing the soil with the requisite nutrients and water content. Steppe climates are similar to the Desert climates. It is semi arid, hot with very scarce rainfall. The temperature varies from fifty to seventy five degree Fahrenheit. The precipitation ranges from 2 cm to 8 cm. The agricultural pattern in the Steppe climatic region is similar to that of the Desert region.
  • Crops: Wheat, barley, grapes, olives, dates, citrus fruits, oats, dates.
  • Western Africa: This encompasses the western region not including the northern regions. The countries included in the western region are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'lvoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauretania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
  • Climatic Conditions: The western region has partly Steppe climatic conditions, partly Humid Sub Tropical conditions and partly Tropical Rain Forest climatical conditions. Humid Sub Tropical climate conditions has characteristics of being showered with rainfall throughout the year with increased intensity in summer months. The temperature ranges from thirty two to sixty five degrees centigrade and the precipitation ranges from two cms to thirty five cms. It is categorized by winter storms which are a hazard for crops. The crops can be planted indoors to mitigate the stormy conditions. The soil nutrient content needs to be checked, fixed and the pests need to be handled by the applying appropriate insecticide. Other than that the area is conducive to cultivation. Cyclical farming practices can also be employed. When the land becomes fallow the land can be planted artificially or naturally with the tropical wild vegetation for it to gain back its fertility and natural nutrient content before it is used again for farming purposes. The tropical rain forest regions are characterized by heavy rainfall, high humidity and high temperatures. The temperature ranges from sixty five degrees to eighty degrees Fahrenheit and precipitation ranges from five cms to seventy five cms. The tropical climate often entails the existence of lack of nutrient content in the soil which can be handled by renourishing it .The pest infestation can be handled by insecticides and pesticides. The Steppe climatic scenario has been discussed in the description of the former region.
  • Crops:Cotton,cocoa,coffee,groundnuts,sugarcane,banana,rubber,pineapple, wheat, barley,grapes,olives,citrus fruits,timber,cashews,sorghum.
  • Eastern Africa: This encompasses regions from Red Sea to Mozambique including Madagascar. This does not include the Southern and Northern regions. The countries included in the Eastern regions are Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eriteria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
  • Climatic Conditions: The climatic conditions can be categorized into Steppe, Desert, and Highland classifications. The Steppe and Desert climatic conditions have been elaborated on previously in the former regions. The Highlands have a warm climate due to the neighboring hills. It is cooler than Desert and Steppe regions. The temperature averages to sixty degrees Fahrenheit and the precipitation ranges from two cms to thirty cms. This region is more conducive to agricultural endeavours than others but the Highland terrain may make the communication channels and manual work difficult.
  • Crops:Tea,cotton,coffee,cloves,vanilla,cinnamon,cocunuts,sorghum,cotton,sisal,cashew,wheat,pyrethrum,sugarcane,tobacco,groundnuts,banana,sesame,cinnamon.
  • Central Africa: This encompasses the central mass of the African Continent. The countries that are included in the central regions are Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, São Tomé and Principè.
  • Climatic Conditions: The climatic conditions in central Africa are primarily categorized into Savanna climatic classification, partly into Highland and partly into the Tropical Rain forest climatic classification. The Savanna climatic conditions showcases rainfall and rain forest like climate for six months and a dry spell for the rest of the six months. Rainfall occurrence is sporadic. The temperature ranges from sixty five degrees to ninety degree Fahrenheit. The precipitation ranges from two cms to thirty cms. Savanna climatic region has the same nutrient retention problem as described in the Tropical Rain forest which can be fixed by planting nitrogen fixing legumes. The Tropical Rain Forest and Highlands have been elucidated on in the previous regions.
  • Crops: Banana, tea, cotton, cocoa, coffee, groundnuts, timber, oil palm products, cotton, sugarcane, tobacco, rubber, timber.
  • Southern Africa: The southern portion of the continent constitutes the region of rain forests of Congo. The countries included in the Southern Africa regions are Angola, Botswana, Lesotto, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
  • Climatic Conditions: The climatic conditions of the southern regions can primarily be categorized into the Steppe, Desert, and Marine climatic classification. Marine Climate is similar to the Humid Sub Tropical Climate category. It rains all year around but with greater intensity in the summer. Temperature ranges from sixty to seventy five degree Fahrenheit. The precipitation ranges from two cms to fifteen cms. The agricultural conditions are similar to Humid Sub Tropical regions. Steppe and Desert climates have been described in the previous regional details.
  • Crops: Sisal, bananas, tobacco, oil palm products, timber, sugarcane, tea, citrus, groundnuts, cotton, cashews, vine, pineapple, wheat, tobacco.

The major food varieties which make life sustenance possible can be categorized into grains like wheat, pulses like beans, fruits and nuts like pineapple and walnuts. Other crops like sugarcane, barley etc can also be grown using similar automated techniques. The robotic techniques can be taken as a prototype for automation of agricultural production.

I am delineating how a customized agricultural robotic solution can be implemented for the major crop classifications in the African continent.

  • Wheat:
  • Contemporary System: The wheat cultivation procedure is initiated with preparing the field by leveling the soil, plucking out the extraneous weeds, ploughing and digging deep furrows for the plantation of the seed. This procedure is traditionally done by hand using a rake for smoothening the soil, a shovel or wheat drill attached to a tractor to dig deep furrows for wheat plantation.
  • Proposed Autonomous System: An integrated automated robotic system should be used for the crop to be cultivated from the inception step of the field preparation to the final steps of harvesting. The robot/robot should have embedded intelligence of sensing and reacting to the current weather conditions like rainfall, desert, storms etc. The robot activities should be reported and logged in a central controlling unit that corroborates, posts real time alerts, emails, pictures and coordinates all the varied and numerous factors for the optimized crop output levels. Statistically at any moment of time the operator of the system should be able to evaluate the maximum crop output, the weed control level, seed planting status, the seed growth level, required water amounts etc. This task can be performed by an intelligent sensor oriented machine whose size is not as big as a cumbersome tractor but is not small enough to be damaged by the existing land's nomenclature. The robot could be shaped like a tractor but its size can be reduced. It can have heavy mettled axle based wheels for tough terrains. The robot should be able to judge the leveling, maintain its center of gravity while conducting a reconnaissance of the land. If the land is already leveled then it can check the surrounding areas under cultivation. It should be equipped with a specialized GPS with special focus on spatial coordinates and should be able to map its trajectory keeping the surrounding area in context. This can be done by a kinetic robot or a sensor enabled robot. If the land is not leveled then the land robot will as per instructions level the land. Once the first leveling step is completed the robot will plow the field to create furrows whose size will be according to the parameters like the seed variety, soil variety, water retention property of the land etc.While creating furrows it should have the ability to destroy the weeds using lasers, sensors and micro spraying mechanisms. It should have inbuilt self checking mechanisms for unforeseen obstacle, unconducive weather conditions. The robot should be able to dock back into its centralized station of operation after the assigned task. The robot should also have inbuilt security features like an automated alarm system when it detects the presence of an unknown person/animal in the territory that it needs to guard and the sensitivity to movement can be regulated.
  • Contemporary System: The next step is nourishing the soil with fertilizers. This is traditionally done by a manual sprayer.
  • Proposed Autonomous System: An automated independent robotic system for micro spraying can be used in conjunction with the aforementioned system for the crop preparation process or an integrated system can be used with subcomponents for all the phases of the crop cultivation. The automated micro sprayer should be able to survey the soil in the potential planting area, the exact seed planting positions, take the environmental factors into consideration and be able to determine the levels of chemical fertilizers present. Replenishing the soil with the fertilizers to the requisite level in the proximity of the seed positions is the next to step to resolve the depletion. This will also provide the correct level of nutrition to the seed and prevent wastage of precious fertilizers. The trajectory can either be traversed by the robot in a straight path and spray nozzles can spray in a rectangular cross section area or it can be customized according to the field shape.
  • Contemporary System: The wheat seeds need to be subsequently disseminated into the furrows. This dissemination is customarily done manually.
  • Proposed Autonomous System: This can be done by a robotic seed disseminator system which spreads seeds according to parameters like distance between all the neighboring seeds surrounding it, the water levels, the fertilizer levels, air and other environmental factors. The seed planting process can be recorded and logged in the central unit. If the monitoring system reports any seed planting failure then it can be repeated for those particular positions.
  • Contemporary System: Watering the wheat seeds is the fourth step. The distribution of water is done either manually, by small water pipes or rainfall.
  • Proposed Autonomous System: Water can be collected from rain or via transportation endeavours from the sea (desalinated if required) or surrounding water bodies into indoor/outdoor reservoirs. Water can be distributed using robotic sprayers after seeding or by performing a dual process at the time of spraying the fertilisers.The levels of water should be the requisite amount for proper utilization of water especially in the areas of water paucity. The water content for each seed should be logged in the central unit. The water has to be distributed according to the environmental and weather conditions. These parameters should be input in the database repository of the robot. The best variety of wheat is grown in the summer time and therefore all the factors should be considered before the process is automated. The probabilistic natural precipitation in the form of rainfall also has to be taken into account for determining the level of water to be distributed. Frequency and the quantity of water distribution have to be optimal for a good output.
  • Contemporary System: Monitoring and redressal process of the weed and pest infestation problem is the fifth step. The weeding application of insecticide is usually done manually.
  • Proposed Autonomous System: The first step is to differentiate the weed from the crop seed .This can be done by either mapping and identification of current weeds against a database of weeds or the shrubs that are not in the grid lines of the seeds planted. The weed control can be done by laser destruction or robot operated herbicide spray on the weed to make it wilt and die. The weed levels and types should be monitored and logged.
  • Contemporary System: Harvesting is the final step of cultivation before the wheat is sent for processing and packaging. The crop harvesting by cutting the wheat kernels is done manually.
  • Proposed Autonomous System: Crop harvesting can be done when the wheat maturation level is at an optimal level. The wheat kernel can be cut with automated robotic scythes when the stems dry up and the kernels dry up totally. This level can be monitored by the automated robotic system. If the pattern of harvesting is different due to different factors selective harvesting can be performed. Regression analysis can be performed and the various factors can be used to forecast the harvesting process for the future to obtain a better yield. This analysis can be performed for all processes to incrementally improve the innovative, automated agricultural procedure. These mature kernels can be then transported to a facility for processing and packaging.
  • Rice:
  • Contemporary System: The conventional technique is to flood the field and then plant the seeds or vise versa.
  • Proposed Autonomous System: The newer techniques of intermittent irrigation are a good method of rice cultivation. This entails leveling of land. Creating paddy fields and planting seeds. This can be automated the same way as the wheat cultivation. The rice can then be irrigated by the robot to the optimum level. Once the level of water reaches a stipulated level the field can be irrigated again. The robot can be instructed to check the irrigation level periodically. As soon as the stipulated lower level is reached the field should be irrigated to the optimum level .The weeds can be dealt using laser or autonomous micro spraying techniques. Management of cracked soil formed during the fallow period can be dealt by land leveling as a leveled field requires lesser water. Leveling also decreases the weed problem. This is the autonomous process is performed by the robot initially. The robot should also be able to ascertain if the land needs any leveling later on. It should also be programmed to check and annihilate weeds and pests if the level reaches a certain high hazard level.
  • Beans, Pulses:
  • Contemporary System: Customarily pulses are grown manually by installing props and planting the seed.
  • Proposed Autonomous System: The beans/pulses require soil preparation by leveling and adding the required fertilizer like compost. This can be done by robotic equipment as described in the wheat cultivation. For the runner variety of beans a cane prop needs to be installed for each bean plant at a given distance with respect to the surrounding plants. This process can be automated by embedding instruction into the robot with spatial intelligence and coordinate structuring. The robot should be able to perform the aforesaid tasks independently without human intervention. The grid can be planned by mapping the area into horizontal rows. If the bean is grown in containers the pots of the required size should be placed at the right distance, filled with soil, fertilizer and inundated with the right amount of water. The robot should ensure that the runner beans entwine around the cane. Watering has to be monitored regularly by the robot as the beans require an optimum amount of water for good growth. The harvesting entails picking of the beans by the robot periodically as per their maturation rate. The more the beans are picked the more production of beans follows. The robot will sense the maturation of the bean and collect it as per the preprogrammed instruction. Bean plants usually continue to produce beans starting from late July continuing till winter months. The plant needs to be protected from frost. Indoor cultivation can be implemented to protect it from frost.
  • Fruits and nuts:
  • Contemporary System: Hand picking of nuts and fruits is the predominate technique of collection.
  • Proposed Autonomous System:This can be done by the automated robotic equipment with sensors to detect the particular fruit or nut's color, position, orientation, characteristics and maturation level etc. It should have inbuilt vine recognition abilities. The robot should be able to obtain the visual coordinates of the trees and the fruits using a GPS enabled component. The maturation levels can be detected using ultra sonic, sound or microwave sensors. The sensing of ripeness of a fruit can trigger the arm of the robotic equipment to break the fruit and collect it. The database of the fruits, nuts and their various parameters can be input as a specification baseline to compare, automate the identification and picking process. The robotic equipment should have a 360 degree of freedom so that the robotic arm can extend itself if needed for the fruit/nut picking process. The robotic machine can be customized to prune the trees of various types, watering the fruit/nut tree and also micro spraying it according to the intelligent analysis input in the machine for it to be lucrative and a good alternative as compared to the manual process. The robot should be able to identify the fungal/bacterial, pest infection and treat it accordingly. The robot can work at night as at that time insects are moving and the winds are not very strong.

Required Resources:

There are a plethora of resources required for this enterprise. The resources can be classified into the following generic types:

  • Financial Resources: The monetary funding requirements should be met by the African government, accredited world agencies like WHO, World Bank, philanthropic organizations like Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation, industrial houses and technologically advanced entities who pledge a high percentage of proceeds to be utilized for the upliftment of the indigenous African population. With the upgradation of the African people the world will at large achieve a win win situation as it will provide the proceeds in cash and kind to the world. The gains will help improve the conditions of the African continent and will provide avenues for further research, better equipment customized according to the terrain, environmental conditions and adoption of best practices in contemporary times.
  • Infrastructural Resources: These resources should be procured from the robotic and automation infrastructure building conglomerates and corporations that are making the various components for the particular crop cultivation. By collaborating with these and independent vendors the robotic solutions can be customized as per the climatic, soil and other essential parameters and constraints. These resources should be subsidized as a result of the monetary funding provided by the aforementioned entities. If any of the robotic components is still not available then that can be built to order or can be improvised by the usage of an alternate automated solution. For scheduling the sequence of events from the inception of the project i.e. the planning phase of the project to the phase of crop harvesting ,transportation, packaging and processing mathematical techniques like PERT, CPM can be used. Gantt chart can also be used as this technique emphasizes more on the project time line. To optimize the solution space a combination of these techniques can be used to leverage the strengths of these scientific formulations. These methodologies can deal with the complexities of the various actions that need to be taken concurrently in a parallel mode or in a serial mode so that it can be executed in a predetermined time frame.
  • Intellectual/Human Resources: The intellectual and human resources should be a caucus/conclave of indigenous Africans with excellent native knowledge, African bureaucrats and governmental officers, agricultural experts, scientists, bio technology specialists, genetic engineering specialist, technological experts, research experts from universities, NGOs, weather forecasting specialists etc.

Initially the endeavour will need to be funded but once the agricultural output will be achieved then the monetary and qualitative outputs will turn it into a self sustaining program. Indigenous robotic research and development centers can be built in Africa. The gains will help improve the conditions of the African continent and will provide avenues for further research, better equipment customized according to the terrain, environmental conditions and best practices in contemporary times.

Business Case:

Components of the current Business Case:

  • Reference -Agricultural Robotic applications in the African continent.
  • Context, Value Proposition - The objective of this project is to provide a better livelihood to the African population and to increase food resources for the world at large. The business benefits for the technological partnerships and robotic companies will be that they will get a percentage of the proceeds and they will help ameliorate the devastating conditions of the African farmers. The risks of proceeding with the project can be minimized by performing a pilot project. The trial will ensure the profitability of the venture when executed in a large scale mode. The pilot project is a major test in the feasibility analysis. A prototype can be used for the different regional implementation and can be customized accordingly. The Value proposition can also be projected for the future forecasting patterns. The probabilistic scenarios can be built before the initiation of the project .These then can closely monitored for value augmentation and quality assurance. Worst case scenario, optimistic scenarios can be evaluated and the pilot project's outcome's accomplishment can be ascertained realistically. This evaluation helps in incrementally improving the steps to be taken in the full scale implementation.
  • Focus: The solution scope is in the African continent context. The constraints are monetary, availability of robotic components, availability of intellectual knowledge and technological expertise, climatic and terrain constraints, governmental permissions and approvals.
  • Deliverables: The deliverables here are better and automated agricultural practices and infrastructural equipment for the farmers of Africa. The key stakeholders are the project team, the technological companies delivering the robotic components, African agriculturists and the African government. Dependencies are the governmental approvals, financial fundings, availabilities of robotic components etc.
  • Workload: The various stages that are involved in the process are project planning and segmentation, project team building, bidding and negotiation, procuring funding, robotic component requisition and obtainment. The next stage is performing the pilot project. If the pilot project is successful then the final stage is executing the whole scale farming enterprise.
  • Required Resource and Commitments: Project team, robotic components, funding, permissions and agricultural resources are the required resources. Commitments are the deliverables, project reporting, budget, scheduling tracking, and research, forecasting using the statistical models, future planning and ongoing incremental improvements.
  • Marketing Strategies and Funding: The marketing strategies entail first of all the popularization of the robotic endeavour for the betterment of the African agriculturists. This idea can promotionalised by various media sources like the internet, newspapers, and television sources and also by word of mouth. The endeavour can be promoted in a focused manner to the major entities required to cooperate, provide infrastructure and monetary resources for the implementation of the automated venture. The pilot trial project should be done as a template or to provide an insight into the anticipated predicted output for the large scale project. The funding should be provided as mentioned earlier by the African government, world organizations like the World Bank, philanthropic organizations, robotic conglomerates and universities.
  • Forecasting Profit and Loss: The profit and loss can be predicted by the statistics collected regarding the pricing of the endeavour. The aforementioned worst case scenario, optimistic scenarios can be taken as an input parameters and for each of these scenarios profit and loss can be forecasted.

Plan and Execution:

The initiative showcases a fully automated, precise agricultural solution to overcome the adversities that the African farmers face even in the contemporary technological advanced world. To make sure that the initiative is not a redundant one a pilot trial project can be undertaken. A couple of small scale model farms in Africa within the context of the diverse climatic conditions can be tested with all the robotic equipments before a large scale agricultural endeavour is undertaken. The potential companies providing these equipments should be persuaded to provide free trial equipment conditional to the fact that if the endeavour succeeds their services will be solicited for a bigger agricultural venture. The bidding, the marketing, project infrastructural components procurement, governmental regulatory constraints also need to be dealt with for a smooth and trouble free trial. Wheat, Rice, Vegetables, fruits and beans should be the main focus in the automation process as this constitutes all the components of a nutritional diet. A blue print can be prepared as a template for the execution of the pilot project and the large scale project. The team should constitute of African nationals with excellent native know how, agricultural experts, and robotic experts and philanthropic experts. This then can be sent for reviewal and approval to the decision making authority under the aegis of the African government. It can also be sent to other world authorities and organizations for augmentation and critical appraisal of the planned execution. African connect money can be used for marketing the idea of robotic farming. It can be used to obtain ideas and people for making the pilot project more streamlined. It can be used to solicit aid and assistance in the sphere of technology, agricultural products and processes.

To elaborate the plan in more detail I have constructed the prominent entities in the planning and execution of the project. These can be enumerated as follows:

Project Activity Identification Framework

  • Phase 1
  • Project Purpose Analysis
  • Project Requirement Analysis
  • Project Feasibility and Risk Analysis

These activities can be done concurrently. A Gantt time line chart can be constructed so that this phase gets completed in three months with all the approvals, activities and analysis.

  • Phase 2
  • Consensus on all the aforementioned analysis and activities.

This should take a week at the most to log in all the decisions, activities taken in the phase 1.

  • Phase 3
  • Task Analysis and Enumeration
  • Product and Resource Analysis
  • Determining Deliverables and Goals
  • Constraint Identification
  • Project Entity Enumeration
  • Financial Revenue Sources and Cost Analysis
  • Identification of Legal Issues
  • Human Resource Identification

These activities can be done concurrently. A Gantt time line chart can be constructed so that this phase gets completed in five months with all the approvals, activities and analysis.

  • Phase 4
  • Consensus on all the aforementioned analysis and activities.

This should take a week at the most to log in all the decisions, activities taken in the phase 3.

  • Phase 5
  • Pilot Project Parameters and Constraints Identification
  • Environmental, locale Resource attribute Analysis
  • Locale Identification
  • Government Regulations and Permissions
  • Project Task Network and Breakdown
  • TimeLine Chart
  • Pilot Project Planning
  • Pilot Plan Objective

These activities can be done concurrently. A Gantt time line chart can be constructed so that this phase gets completed in five months with all the approvals, activities and analysis.

  • Phase 6
  • Consensus on all the aforementioned analysis and activities.

This should take a week at the most to log in all the decisions, activities taken in the phase 5.

  • Phase 7
  • Product Procurement
  • Pilot Project Implementation
  • Pilot Project Tracking and Improvement
  • Feedback and Quality Control
  • Forecasting and Research Activities
  • Comprehensive Pilot Project Documentation and Specifications

These activities can be done concurrently. A Gantt time line chart can be constructed so that this phase gets completed in one year with all the implementation and documentation

  • Phase 8
  • Critical appraisal on all the aforementioned implementation

This should take a week at the most to log in all the activities performed in phase 7.

  • Phase 9
  • Large Scale Implementation considering the Pilot Project as a Template.
  • Project Documentation and Specifications
  • Future Planning and modifications

These activities can be done concurrently. A Gantt time line chart can be constructed so that this phase gets completed in one year with all the implementation and documentation

  • Phase 10
  • Critical appraisal on all the aforementioned implementation

This should take a week at the most to log in all the activities performed in phase 10.

Project Activity Identification Phase Algorithm: I constructed a basic algorithm to depict the phases that I described in detail. Every new phase needs to be reviewed, critically appraised and modified before the transitioning into the next phase.This algorithm can be viewed in the attached file named Robotic_Agriculture.rtf.

The target audience will be African government, African population, World organizations that represent the world at large, universities in Africa and the world focused on agricultural research and robotic equipment manufacturing.

An assembly line strategy/pert cpm can be constructed for the sequence of activities to be done concurrently or sequentially.

Real World Impact:

If implemented with the seriousness of purpose the real world impact will be a phenomenal one. It will open forays into agricultural innovations and agriculture will no longer be an arena of drudgery and fatique.It will infact become a enterprise that can be operated, monitored and regulated by technology,robots,brain power resulting in the mitigation of the debilitating effects of the environmental extreme factors that are faced by the African population every day. The scope of the impact will be a spiraling one. It will initially impact the African continent but will eventually also affect the world positively. The tentative time to achieve the initial results is approximately a year or two. This is the time that the pilot projects can be tested and the results can be an indicator for a full fledged implementation. These can vary a little for different crop varieties. The world will come together in terms of providing infrastructural equipment, intellectual resources, robotic equipment, funding and work towards an automated agricultural endeavour which will provide food for the human inhabitants of the earth.

Agricultural Robotic resources/articles/videos/references:

1. How Robotic Farming Could Enhance Agricultural Sustainability

http://blog.sustainablog.org/how-robotic-farming-could-enhance-agricultu...

2. http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/engineering/robots/4328685

3. Smart gardeners MIT

4. Carnegie Mellon University's Field Robotics Center SENSOR BASED APPLE ORCHARD EQUIPMENT

5. Robot Farm: OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY GREEN SEEKER

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfNBlB32TGM

6. Down on the farm with the robots http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8558095.stm

7.Agricultural Robotics Portal

http://www.unibots.com/Agricultural_Robotics_Portal.htm

8. Fuji Heavy Industries outs friendless, autonomous farming robot

Fuji Heavy Industries in Japan has announced what it's calling 'the first' autonomous farming robot. This "Rice Planting Robot" now being developed by the National Agricultural Research Center (NARC) of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) was chosen as the recipient of "The Robot Award 2008", the grand prize for outstanding performance.

9. The eight-armed orange harvester will strip ripe fruit from trees.

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2007/06/robo_picker#ixzz0nl0jCUd1

Vision Robotics, a San Diego company, is working on a pair of robots that would trundle through orchards plucking oranges, apples or other fruit from the trees.

10. Farming Robots Have a Field Day in Netherlands

Wageningen University

http://english.ntdtv.com/ntdtv_en/ns_europe/2009-08-08/021180407518.html

11. Farm robots innovative agricultural robots

http://www.robots4farms.com/farmrobots.html

12. Rice planting robot

http://web-japan.org/trends/science/sci051014.html

13. Farm Robots

http://robotics.youngester.com/2008/08/farm-robots.html

14. A specification for an autonomous

Mechanization system: robotic agriculture

http://www.agroboticnetwork.dk/media/7160/simon%20blackmore.pdf

15. Carnegie Mellon university robotics institute

http://www.rec.ri.cmu.edu/projects/auto_harvesting/

16. http://www.roboticharvesting.com/videos.html

17. AgBo Agricultural Robot

http://www.used-robots.com/articles.php?tag=1790

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