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ICRISAT Launches Chess-Inspired App to Educate Farmers on Soil Conservation and Climate-Smart Practices

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISA) has created a mobile gaming app called MRIDA that assists small-scale crop producers in strategizing climate-smart agricultural management practices

Ayushi Sikarwar
A Farmer Using Smartphone to Keep a Check on his Yield (File Image)
A Farmer Using Smartphone to Keep a Check on his Yield (File Image)

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISA) has created a mobile gaming app called MRIDA that assists small-scale crop producers in strategizing climate-smart agricultural management practices to improve soil carbon, yield, and builds resilience. This application takes its cue from how chess was played to make strategies in the ancient times.

A team of scientists conducted a study from 2020 to 2022 to produce MRIDA (which means soil in Hindi) and created a project that supports practical methods for adopting climate-smart agriculture solutions. The gaming app was created in partnership with, Vasudhaika Software Private Limited (Kalgudi).

Managing Resources for Integrated Development of Agriculture (MRIDA), according to ICRISAT, was created as a component of a study funded by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) to evaluate the potential carbon sequestration of agricultural management systems.

Dr ML Jat, global research program director, resilient farm and food systems, ICRISAT told the reporters that farmers will become more aware of four important factors because of the gaming app i.e. irrigation, biochar application, crop selection, and fertilizer.

They can choose their options, calculate the yield and organic carbon content based on the season. They will be able to make wiser decisions on the farm with the tips.

At present, the app's current foundation is a modelling study carried out in eight districts of Odisha and five districts of Maharashtra.

In the previous month, a second call for submissions from qualified ag-tech businesses was issued by the Agribusiness Incubator (ABI) of ICRISAT under the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations-Seed Support Program (NIDHI-SSP).

The Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, and the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) both fund this programme.

ABI-ICRISAT will provide ecosystem service partner packages, access to mentor and investor networks, and incubation services for business growth and scaling up activities.

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