"Super Krishak" is an initiative by Gham Power for efficient delivery of agri-advisory to its large network of rural small-holder farmers. Gham Power has undertaken many initiatives to disperse information related to profitable and sustainable agriculture to its farmer network. Krishak App aims to gamify that process and uplift the rural farmers in Nepal.
Gham Power had been providing free and paid agri-training to small-holder farmers in Nepal for a long time. However, there was a need for a system to increase the involvement of farmers and to find out if the farmers were implementing what they had learned. There was also the problem of the lack of access to information for farmers who may have access to the internet but cannot access reliable information sources due to their lack of command of the English language. Apart from that, there was also the need for a control center that handled all of the ongoing processes.
I was the lead designer involved in the process and I was responsible for designing the UI for the whole application as well as working with the in-house agri-team to plan the features and the overall presentation of the application. I was also responsible for the handover of the final designs to the development team.
While it was an important problem to solve, there was no clear answer. It was important for the whole team to come together and brainstorm our way out of this fix. After much consideration, there were a few approaches that helped us move ahead.
Finding out what applications the farmers were using and familiar with was extremely important. I began by analyzing the top farming apps in Nepal and India to be familiar with what the farmers are looking for. Once the applications were deconstructed into services and features, it was easy to identify the possible overlaps in the applications and plan accordingly.
Since the application was being designed keeping the farmers in mind, it was extremely important to understand the farmers and their requirements as well. So we visited the farmers in their homes in rural Nepal and tried to understand their appetite for information. Apart from that, we also used Gham Power's extensive network of farmers and reached out to them to seek clarification whenever we hit a wall in the decision-making.
Members of the Gham Power agri-team interacting with rural farmers in Nepal
It was important to understand the farming technologies, and terminologies and to understand the farming industry in general if I was to create a solution that catered to that particular industry. Talking to the in-house team of agri-experts in Gham Power helped in identifying the possible sectors that require change and intervention. The agri-experts were also a part of the designing process as the wireframes and the prototypes were heavily discussed with the agri-team before being sent off to the developers. The knowledge I gained also helped in fine-tuning the back-end later on.
The end product exceeded expectations. The whole gamified application as well as the back-end was very well received and is acting as a good base for further improvements in the system.
It was difficult to make the farming population learn simply for the sake of learning. There was a need to give them a goal and add a sense of accomplishment to their learning process. We found the answer in gamifying the experience. To find a way to celebrate little activities and interactions by the farmers and create a sense of healthy competition in the farming community. Giving the farmers a goal to accomplish also acted as a great source of extrinsic motivation. Farmers who amassed a certain amount of points would also get awarded in real-life.
Some efforts that went into gamifying the application and providing an entertaining experience
Providing a section in the app that allowed farmers easy access to the relevant and timely topics concerning their industry and the capacity to access old information on a categorical basis would be a great information library. It would also act as a great news board to keep the farming population up-to-date with the new technology, farming methodologies, and the produce market.
A dedicated feed for up-to-date farming related information
Working as the primary design lead, I had a few roles to fulfill. While working on this project, I was responsible for