In 2011, the “Artistes du Cirad” team developed a new and innovative software tool for managing geo-referenced field data. The software is now available to the public and has already been put to use in Madagascar, where agro-ecological techniques are gradually being introduced.
The software, which is free, enables the user to compile, manage and analyze field data reliably, securely and in real-time. Manamora can create and manage databases including geo-referenced data, essential in rural development projects or environmental protection. "Manamora was designed to support various agro-ecological projects in Madagascar (BVLAC, BVPI-SE/HP) particularly direct seeding mulch-based cropping systems (DMC), which is today the mainstay of intensive ecological agriculture, says Jean-Baptiste Laurent, a researcher with Cirad Réunion. The “Groupement Semis Direct Madagascar” (GSDM) has been collecting data to closely monitor agricultural practices, but given the colossal amount of data collected over several years, it was decided to fuse the databases using a reliable, centralized and secure software featuring a geographic information system (GIS)."
The software doubles as both capture and reporting tool, and is based on the Margouill@ online agricultural information system developed by the Cirad. Manamora makes it possible for the user to select information from databases then process and present the data in an meaningful way. The software also features performance indicators and geo-referenced crop and field monitoring tools. A better understanding of each of these elements is crucial in monitoring farms and their relationship with their bio-physical and socio-economic environments. According to M. Rakondondramanana, executive director of GSDM, Manamora represents "a lasting way to safeguard data generated during short-term projects. It is an essential element of agricultural development projects ,even if the main difficulty lies in sustaining the supply of reliable data." Version 2.0 of Manamora will soon be released, including a version for tablets and smartphones and to especially dispense with the Internet, which is often unavailable in the field during data entry. To be continued ...
• More information: www.manamora.net