1457325-146685ADAMA SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY UNIVERSITYSCHOOL OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING & COMPUTING DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTING
A MASTER’S THESIS
Cloud Based Framework for Delivering Agriculture as a Service in Case of Ethiopia Agricultural sector
A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN SOFTWARE ENGINEERING
May 2018 Adama, Ethiopia
This thesis represents the peak point of my studies, so far, and it incorporates knowledge gathered from different sources, academics and professionals alike. First of all, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the almighty God for his mercy, guidance, support; Glory to God. Next, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my research advisor Dr. Babu (Ph.D. professor in Adama science and Technology University) for his advice, patience and constructive criticisms of this work. Thirdly, my thanks go to all interviewees found at the ministry of agriculture mainly staff IT and marketing for their honesty suggestion, cooperation in interview and their voluntariness in explaining the operating method of the current agricultural sector environment.
Finally, I would like to express my thanks to my friend Tadesse Dejene for his support in my thesis. I am also thankful to my father, mother, sisters, brothers, friends and Samara university computer science staff members for their encouragement and suggestion that helped me to accomplish this thesis.
Table of Contents
TOC o “1-3” h z u
Acknowledgement PAGEREF _Toc514821225 h IList of Figure PAGEREF _Toc514821226 h VList of Appendices PAGEREF _Toc514821227 h VIList of Acronyms PAGEREF _Toc514821228 h VIAbstract PAGEREF _Toc514821229 h VICHAPTER ONE PAGEREF _Toc514821230 h 11.1.INTRODUCTION PAGEREF _Toc514821231 h 11.2.Statement of problem PAGEREF _Toc514821232 h 21.3.Objective of the Study PAGEREF _Toc514821233 h 41.3.1. General Objective PAGEREF _Toc514821234 h 41.3.2.Specific Objectives PAGEREF _Toc514821235 h 41.4.Scope and Limitation PAGEREF _Toc514821236 h 51.5.Significance of the Study PAGEREF _Toc514821237 h 51.6. Organization of Thesis PAGEREF _Toc514821238 h 5CHAPTER TWO PAGEREF _Toc514821239 h 7Literature Review PAGEREF _Toc514821240 h 72.1. Introduction PAGEREF _Toc514821241 h 72.2. Cloud computing PAGEREF _Toc514821242 h 72.2.1. Characteristics of Cloud Computing PAGEREF _Toc514821243 h 82.2.2. Cloud Computing Service Model PAGEREF _Toc514821244 h 112.2.3. Cloud Computing Deployment Model PAGEREF _Toc514821245 h 132.2.4. Related Technologies PAGEREF _Toc514821246 h 172.3. Benefits of Cloud Computing in Agriculture Sector PAGEREF _Toc514821247 h 232.4. Current Challenges in Ethiopia Agriculture sector PAGEREF _Toc514821248 h 252.5. Role of Cloud Computing in Solving these Challenges PAGEREF _Toc514821249 h 252.6. Related Work PAGEREF _Toc514821250 h 26CHAPTER THREE PAGEREF _Toc514821251 h 28RESEARCH METHODOLOGY PAGEREF _Toc514821252 h 283.1. Research design PAGEREF _Toc514821253 h 283.1.Process model PAGEREF _Toc514821254 h 283.1.1.Problem identification PAGEREF _Toc514821255 h 293.1.2.Define the objectives for a solution PAGEREF _Toc514821256 h 293.1.3.Framework Design PAGEREF _Toc514821257 h 293.1.4.Evaluation PAGEREF _Toc514821258 h 303.2.Data Source PAGEREF _Toc514821259 h 303.3.Data Collection Techniques PAGEREF _Toc514821260 h 303.3.1.Questionnaires PAGEREF _Toc514821261 h 303.3.2.Interviews PAGEREF _Toc514821262 h 313.4.Analysis Technique PAGEREF _Toc514821263 h 313.5.The Development of the Prototype PAGEREF _Toc514821264 h 323.5.1.Aneka PAGEREF _Toc514821265 h 323.5.2.ASP.NET PAGEREF _Toc514821266 h 323.6.Issues of Reliability and Validity PAGEREF _Toc514821267 h 32CHAPTER FOUR PAGEREF _Toc514821268 h 34PROPOSED CLOUD BASED FRAMEWORK PAGEREF _Toc514821269 h 344.1.Backgrounds of the Framework PAGEREF _Toc514821270 h 344.2.Building the Framework PAGEREF _Toc514821271 h 344.2.1.User Subsystem PAGEREF _Toc514821272 h 354.2.2.Cloud Subsystem PAGEREF _Toc514821273 h 35CHAPTER FIVE PAGEREF _Toc514821274 h 38DATA ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION PAGEREF _Toc514821275 h 385.1.Presentation of the Interview Result PAGEREF _Toc514821276 h 385.2.Selection of Cloud Services Provider PAGEREF _Toc514821277 h 405.3.Selection of cloud computing service model PAGEREF _Toc514821278 h 415.6.Selection of cloud computing Deployment model PAGEREF _Toc514821279 h 415.7. The data center networking issue PAGEREF _Toc514821280 h 42CHAPTER SIX PAGEREF _Toc514821281 h 42PROTOTYPE DEVELOPMENT FOR THE PROPOSED FRAMEWORK AND VALIDATION OF RESULTS PAGEREF _Toc514821282 h 426.1. Overview of the Prototype PAGEREF _Toc514821283 h 426.2. The Development Environment PAGEREF _Toc514821284 h 436.3.The Prototype Modeling PAGEREF _Toc514821285 h 436.3.2.Sequence diagram PAGEREF _Toc514821286 h 486.4.The screen snapshot of the prototype PAGEREF _Toc514821287 h 516.5.Validation of Results PAGEREF _Toc514821288 h 51CHAPTER SEVEN PAGEREF _Toc514821289 h 53CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORKS PAGEREF _Toc514821290 h 537.1.Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc514821291 h 537.2.Future Works PAGEREF _Toc514821292 h 54?Reference PAGEREF _Toc514821293 h 55
List of FigureFigure ?21: Community Cloud model15 Figure ?22: Virtualization Architecture 19Figure ?23: Cloud adoption challenges PAGEREF _Toc474894611 h 20Figure ?31: The research process29Figure ?41 : Proposed Framework36Figure ?51:The service Delivery Model on Public Cloud 42Figure ?61 : use case diagram for the proposed framework prototype45Figure ?62: sequence diagram for Agro-Info49Figure ?64:Functional aspect of Agro-Info50List of Table
Table 2-1 :Service Delivery Model12Table 5-1: legal and Regulatory Framework PAGEREF _Toc474894624 h 38
Table 5-2: Current Infotrmation Technology39Table 5-3: Market Accessibility41Table 5-4: Avalibility of Integrated system41List of AcronymsAbstractAgriculture is a major source of income for our countries economy as their role in converting surplus to deficit. Due to the effect of globalization and advancement in technology the business environments are highly dynamic and people needs to access information easily in their preconfigured devices. To answer this fast access need of a customer it is difficult for existing un integrated organization that gives services under the sector. The current agricultural sector in Ethiopia has many redundancies, limited service deliveries, has no advantages of cost from the technology’s point of view even from the farming community.
To solve the existing problem in agricultural industry we have proposed to design cloud-based framework that deliver agriculture as a service which manage various types of agriculture related data based on different domains and to minimize the technological costs through interview and literature review on cloud computing as the research methodology. The result obtained from the interview shows that no single agricultural service in Ethiopia can afford enough access channel to serve their customers mainly farmer.
The proposed framework is based on public cloud deployment model because of its suitability for the sector since the data under sectors has no more sensitive, offering the ability to scale up and down on demand and has cost advantage over the private cloud. The framework also uses SaaS, PaaS and IaaS service delivery model. In SaaS, user interface is designed in which users can interact with system. Aneka is a .NET-based application development PaaS, which is used as a scalable cloud middleware to make interaction between cloud subsystem and user subsystem, In IaaS, resource manager manages the resource based on the identified QoS requirements of a particular request. Finally, the prototype of the designed framework has been developed using ASP.net architecture to show the validity of the framework.
Keyword: Cloud computing, agriculture sector,
CHAPTER ONEINTRODUCTIONAgriculture is a major source of income for Ethiopia and the country’s economy highly depend on it. It covers half of the country’s total GDP and more than 80% of the country’s population depends on it 1. The government of Ethiopia and other key stakeholders involve in agricultural work to consider agriculture to be the main source of income and a key role player for the country’s socio-economic development 2. However, despite the fact that agriculture is a source of income and a supply for Ethiopia’s population livelihood, periodic drought and other environmental disasters commonly happened and many farmers compelled to face. Therefore, to overcome challenges in the sector various policies and strategies would be designed and implemented. Now days, there are different approaches that used to improve crop production. One of the methods that are show a better result in cultivating crop production and effective resource utilization is Precision Agriculture (PA) 3. By means of PA allows farmers know what quantity of fertilizers, seed and other chemicals to use for their land and specific condition. This makes PA an effective way for utilization of resources and improve production outcome.
Now a day cloud computing has application in almost all the domains whether scientific, engineering, commercial, social etc. Agriculture is another field which is being vastly benefit with the applications of cloud computing. Farmers around the globe are using the IT resources for easy dissemination and management of their crop related data. Further different hardware and software resources for monitoring the temperature, humidity, soil moisture and luminosity measurement are also being deployed by the farming community 4. Modernization of agriculture reduces climate dependency, improve the utilization of existing resources and imparting the knowledge about new techniques and resources at the earliest. Further, it provides modern agriculture equipment and machinery, agriculture planting and breeding technology, weather observation and forecasting, production organization and management methods 5.
Moreover, cloud computing increased efficiency for agriculture and success the agricultural technology. It directly connects the farmers to the operation through the cloud and shares their experience by communication and information sharing 6. The benefits of cloud computing technology in agriculture can answer the issues of agricultural transformation and agricultural information, and also breakdown agricultural producers’ limitations in technology, decrease duplication, improve consumption of existing resources to make up for dispersed, small-scale, regional differences agricultural production and the strong dependence on the natural climate for agricultural production 7.
By deploying information technology infrastructure and services over the network, an organization can be obtaining these resources on an as-needed basis and avoid the capital costs of software and hardware. With cloud computing, IT capacity can be used to speedily and easily to accommodate changes in demand. Though remotely hosted, control services have long been a part of the IT landscape, a sensitive interest in cloud computing is being powered by ubiquitous networks, growing standards, the increment of hardware and software virtualization, and the push to make IT costs variable and transparent 8. Cloud computing delivers: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as Service (PaaS), and Software as Services (SaaS), which available as subscription-based services in a pay-as-you-go model and other essential features to customers 9.
Currently, four cloud deployment models are available these are private cloud, community cloud, public cloud and hybrid cloud. By considering availability of services, acceptance and adoption, in this study public cloud deployment model has been chosen as a deployment model for agricultural sector in Ethiopia. public cloud computing is less cost, offering the ability to scale up and down on demand and shifting infrastructure risks from the enterprise to the cloud provider, if even just temporarily.
This research paper discusses the advantage of cloud computing for agricultural sectors, limitation of current information technology utilization in agriculture field and also discuss the standard, legal and compliance issues of agricultural data and developing a framework that helps to integrate service related agriculture together to provide as a baseline for accessing agricultural information easily.
1.2.Statement of problemAgriculture plays major role directly or in directly in improving economy of our country. In current era, every sector is competitive including agriculture. To complete agriculture sectors will also use information technology (IT) to achieve maximum benefits. Ethiopian farmers are poor in education background and the traditional methods are dominating over the modern technology, in this dynamic environment, resulting bad production rate. This is due to illiterate or less educated farmers having low investment capacity working for the welfare of their people only. To increase the investment capital Ethiopian government are planning and investing a huge amount but due to the lack of information, farmers are unable to utilize them and they are not at all use.
The development of modern technologies from time to time is changing the way of organization handle their business process and the need to adopt these technologies is becoming for business organization to be competitive in market. However, decision makers are challenge when it comes to decision of adopting or not adopting these technologies. The decision to adopt cloud computing or new IT technologies for that matter is usually based on experts’, experiences, vendor’s recommendation, pre-adoption analysis to determine whether that particular technologies meets the strategic goal of the organization or not.
The Ethiopian agriculture has been suffering from several external and internal problems. It has been inactive due to poor performances as a result of factors such as: Low resource utilization, Low farming techniques, Over-reliance on fertilizers and underutilized techniques for soil and water conservation, inappropriate farming policy, inappropriate land tenure policy, ecological degradation of potential arable lands, increase in unemployment rate due to increase in the population. Farmers in the rural areas depend on climate, use traditional method for cultivation crop, low use of modern agriculture equipment, machinery, agriculture planting and breeding technology, weather observation and forecasting and do not have access to major market places in country. In addition, farmers do not have the option of getting climate conditions, good agricultural practices and market information of agricultural products in the major market places other than their localities. Another major problem in our country is rural to urban migration as unemployment ratio is constantly increasing. Generally, Ethiopian agriculture is dominating by subsistence, low input-low output; rain-fed farming system and droughts periodically reverse agricultural sector performance gains with devastating effects on household food security and poverty levels.
The main problem that this study focusses on lack of a collective purpose to collect information, lack of a formal mechanism to provide information for farming community, lack of an integrated system or mechanism to contain different services related to agriculture together, which mean service such as climate change, crop related information, market status for crop, productivity, soil and pesticide detail, fertilizer information and so on. Hence, the aim of the study will be to answer the following research questions.
Is the current ICT usage strategy efficient in Ethiopian agriculture?
Could cloud computing is an alternative solution for efficient ICT service provisioning strategy for agriculture?
Is it possible to develop a cloud-based framework that helps to integrate service related to agriculture?
1.3.Objective of the Study1.3.1. General ObjectiveThe main objective of this study will to examine existing ICT infrastructure usage in Ethiopian agricultural sector and to design cloud-based framework for integrating service related to Agriculture together.
1.3.2.Specific ObjectivesThe specific objectives of the study are:
Identify existing on-premise computing and cloud computing technologies and building a case for agricultural sector to integrate service related to agriculture.
Identify the main concerns and challenges that Agricultural sectors are likely to face when considering to integrate services thought cloud computing technology
To design a cloud-based framework that integrated service of agriculture sector.
To explore the potential benefits of Cloud Computing in Agriculture sectors.
To identify tools and models appropriate for design a cloud computing framework.
To identify and recommend future research directions for further investigation on the benefits of cloud for agriculture sector.
1.4.Scope and LimitationThe main intent of this study will focus on examining and analyzing the current ICT service delivery support Ethiopian Agricultural sector, to show the applicability of cloud computing in the field of agriculture, designing cloud-based framework for delivering agriculture as a service for Ethiopian agriculture sector and developing a prototype for the framework. This study did not consider full implementation of the framework.
1.5.Significance of the StudyThis study enables Ethiopian agricultural sectors to consider alternative ways of deploying information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructures for an effective and efficient cultivation. In addition, gives insight to the ministry of agriculture (MOA) and concerned government sectors on how to invest ICT budget on Ethiopian agricultural sectors (EAS). In addition, serve as a bridge for the gap between farmers, agricultural experts, soil testing labs, agriculture market and other agriculture related institutions. Additionally, the study will be used as a baseline for further studies of this new emerged ICT utilization to be consider in different governmental and nongovernmental organization of Ethiopian in the flied of agriculture. The proposed cloud-based framework will be used as a baseline for Ethiopian agricultural sectors ICT managers on how to integrate service through cloud computing technology, implemented and used in Ethiopian agricultural sectors.
1.6. Organization of Thesis The rest of this study is organized as follows: Chapter two covered related literatures on the basic concept of cloud computing: service types, tools, deployment models, cloud challenges and benefits for agricultural sector, different publications about EAS, existing ICT usages and related works done on cloud-based service frameworks locally and abroad in order to understand how it used in agriculture sectors. Chapter three describes the research methodology and strategy that aims to identify the potential cloud solutions that could be provided to agricultural sector. Primary data collection and analysis technique were described as information acquisition method. Validity and reliability requirements also identified. In Chapter four, backgrounds of a framework for building the proposed Cloud based Framework to deliver agriculture as service, the detail elements of the proposed cloud-based framework, the architectural components of the proposal for implementing a framework are given. Chapter five presents the results of the interview described in chapter three. The data collection method utilized was the semi structured interview that provided both control and direction through a list of question under interview. Additionally, technological requirement identification for EAS also presented. In chapter six the implementation of the prototype and tools used to develop the framework have discussed. Finally, in chapter seven conclusions about the research and suggestions for future research direction were presented.CHAPTER TWOLiterature Review2.1. IntroductionThis chapter reviews the different literatures that are related to the objective of the study. Literatures covered in this section are the basic concept of cloud computing: service types, deployment models, cloud challenges and benefits for agriculture sector, different publications about EAS (Ethiopian agricultural sector) existing ICT usages and related works done on cloud-based service frameworks locally and abroad in order to understand how it is used in agriculture sectors.
2.2. Cloud computingOver the last few years, many IT professionals, business managers and researchers have started to talk about a new phenomenon called cloud computing. Each of these groups defined cloud computing differently according to their understanding of its offerings. Although there was no agreement about what precisely constituted cloud computing, it still offered a promising paradigm that could enable businesses to face market volatility in an agile and cost-efficient manner 10. According to 11, Cloud computing is a system, where the resources of a data center are shared using virtualization technology, which also provides elastic, on-demand and instant services to its customers and charges customer usage as a utility bill.
The most widely accepted definition NIST 12, defined Cloud computing as” a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction”. Regarding its relations to other pre-existing computing models, cloud computing can be used in principle to deliver computing services, including grid computing services, high performance computing services, etc. This does not imply that cloud computing is a replacement for grid computing, high-performance computing, or any other pre-existing computing model. Instead, cloud computing should be thought of as a new business model that aims at service delivery in a highly scalable and highly flexible manner. The difference between cloud computing and other pre-existing computing models can be better demonstrated by ways of using the characteristics, service, deployment models and its key enabling technologies of virtualization.
2.2.1. Characteristics of Cloud ComputingAccording to NIST 12, cloud computing exhibits its own essential characteristics such as; on demand service, wide network approach, resource pooling, fast elasticity and measured service which demonstrate their relation to and differences from traditional computing approaches.
Cloud computing focuses on IT services which are driven by users’ requests. It provides a means of delivering computing services that makes the underlying technology, beyond the user device almost invisible. Applying computing resources on-demand is one of the most desired capabilities for a large number of enterprises because it removes the need for scheduling ahead, purchasing, and installing the resources they will require at some point in the future. This allows the customer to avoid making a needless upfront investment in servers and computing resources. Furthermore, when comparing cloud computing with the traditional model of owning the servers, cloud computing will help to avoid the costs of having under used resources. Consequences of this feature of on-demand computing resources are a lowering of the entry barriers to some business models, as software vendors can develop applications without worrying beforehand of provisioning for a specific number of customers and then bearing with the risk of greater success than planned, leading to the service not being available or worse, having very few users and a large capital expense caused by purchasing resources that are very underutilized.
Another new aspect of cloud computing is application of usage-based billing model. Customers simply pay for the services they used, while providers bear the costs of hardware and software provision. Pricing may differ based on the time of day due to peaks in request or varying electricity costs and organizations may therefore carry out certain activities when costs are cheaper. However distributed cloud networks may enable providers to smooth out demand globally and offer uniform pricing strategies not dependent on timing.
Cloud capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote used by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, laptops, and PDAs) as well as other traditional or cloud-based software services. Cloud computing extends the existing trend of making services available over the network. Virtually business organization can make available different applications to their internal and external customers using web-based interfaces. While enterprises are well aware of the ability to secure communications using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption along with strong authentication, bootstrapping trust in a cloud computing environment requires carefully considering the differences between enterprise computing and cloud computing. When properly architected, internet service delivery can provide the flexibility and security required by enterprises of all sizes.
The cloud provider’s computing resources such as: storage, processing, network bandwidth, and virtual machines are shared to serve many consumers using a multi-tenant model, thus, different physical and virtual resources dynamically allocated and reallocated according to consumer demand. Even private clouds tend to share resources between different parts of the same organization. There is no of location dependence in that the customer commonly has no management over the exact location of the provided resources but may be able to specify location at a higher level of abstraction (e.g., country, state, or datacenter).
Based upon the specific of a service level agreement, the cloud provider scales up or down the resources that are provided to meet the customer’s changing needs. This service level agreement must define the response time for the cloud provider to adapt the customer’s needs. Such an agreement is needed by the cloud provider, because the cloud provider does not in fact have infinite resources, so depending upon the service level agreement the cloud provider has to find a set of allocations of resources that satisfy the current demands of the aggregate of their users while meeting the various service level agreements of these customers, otherwise the service level agreement may specify a penalty that the cloud provider has to pay to each customer for not meeting the relevant service level agreement.
Cloud allows the dynamic integration and extraction of computing resources. Cloud services are existing for provisioning, often look to be limitless and can be obtained in any quantity at any time. Elasticity is an essential feature of cloud systems and circumscribes the capability of the underlying infrastructure to adapt changing. This cloud capability allows service users to create an elastic environment that can expand and target performance parameters. In general, it assumed that changes in the resource infrastructure needs are announced first to the middleware manager and then such changes can be maintained automatically.
Cloud system automatically control and optimize resource usage by leveraging a metering capability at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth, or active user accounts). Resource usage can be managed, measured and reported to provide for both the provider and consumer of the service. Based on this metering and accounting capability of cloud computing, users pay only for service they are used. Thus, billing is based on resource consumptions such as CPU hours used, volume of data moved, or giga bytes of data used.
Because the cloud provider rather than the customer maintains the computing resource, there is an effective outsourcing of maintenance tasks. Thus, the cloud provider maintains and updates the resources, whether the resource is hardware or software. Therefore, all repairs and replacement of the underlying hardware resources are transparent to the customer, as they do not affect the customer’s experience. While this might be true in the ideal case, there may be short intervals when a customer’s image is migrated from one hardware platform to another in order to perform maintenance or repair of a given physical platform, during this period of time the customer might not have any of the resources associated with this image available.
2.2.2. Cloud Computing Service ModelCloud computing means using IT infrastructure as a service and that service may be
anything from renting raw hardware to using third-party APIs. In practice, cloud service providers tend to offer services that can be grouped into three categories: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).
2.4.1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
The capability provided to the customer of IaaS is raw storage space, computing, or network resources with which the customer can run and execute an operating system, applications, or any software that they choose. The cloud customer is not able to control the distribution of the software to a specific hardware platform or change parameters of the underlying infrastructure, but the customer can manage the software deployed (generally from the boot level upward). Thus, dynamic scaling, usage-based pricing, reduced costs and access to superior IT resources are some of the benefits of IaaS.
2.4.2. Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS is one of the service deployment mechanisms which enable user’s access different software from the cloud wherever they are, and whenever they need without installing it on their machine. Instead of installing, maintaining and managing complex software and hardware task, SaaS allows to simply accessing application through a thin client interface, such as a web browser., the consumer uses an application without having hardware or software to buy, install, maintain, update, and manage the infrastructure on which the applications running. SaaS applications run on a SaaS provider’s servers and the provider manages access to the application, including security, availability, and performances using open standards apply at the application level 13.
2.4.3. Platform as a Service (PaaS)
The Platform as a Service model describes a software environment in which a developer can create and deploy cloud application customized solutions within the context of the development tools that the platform provides. These applications could be for use by the client or accessible as a service to others. Creating applications using PaaS means that they are inherently cloud-enabled and the PaaS provider also provides the service upon which these applications run 14.
In the traditional model of software development applications are written in one environment, tested in another environment and deployed elsewhere 15. PaaS is a combination of a development platform and a solution stack, delivered as a service on demand.
In the case of PaaS, the cloud provider not only provides the hardware, but they also provide a toolkit and a number of supported programming languages to build higher level services (i.e. software applications that are made available as part of a specific platform). The users of PaaS are typically software developers who host their applications on the platform and provide these applications to the end-users. Programming platforms and tools (such as .NET, java or python) and APIs for building cloud-based applications and services are exposed to developers who can create applications for testing or for commercial purposes for a minute fraction of the cost of provisioning server infrastructure for themselves. The difficulty with PaaS is that it locks the developer and the customer into a solution that is dependent upon the platform vendor. An application written in Python against Google’s API using the Google App Engine is likely to work only in that environment. There is considerable vendor lock-in associated with a PaaS solution.
TABLE 2.1: SERVICE DELIVERY MODELS 16
2.2.3. Cloud Computing Deployment ModelDeployment models broadly characterize the management and disposition of computational resources for delivery of services to consumers, as well as the differentiation between classes of consumers. Clouds can also be classified based upon the underlying infrastructure deployment model as Public, Private, Community, or Hybrid clouds. The different infrastructure deployment
models are distinguishing by their architecture, the location of the datacenter where the cloud is realized, and the needs of the cloud provider’s customers (for example, due to regulatory, legal, or other requirements).
2.5.1. Public cloud services
A public cloud’s physical infrastructure is owned by a cloud service provider. Such a cloud runs applications from different customers who share this infrastructure and pay for their resource utilization on a utility computing basis. The cloud services are available for anyone to subscribe and to use in a pay-as-you-go manner, A public cloud customer can access these services over the internet from a third-party provider who may share computing resources with many customers.
The public cloud model is widely accepted and adopted by many enterprises because the leading public cloud vendors as Amazon, Microsoft and Google, have equipped their infrastructure with a vast amount of data centers, enabling users to freely scale and shrink their rented resources with low cost and little management burden 17. 18 Lists some of the advantages and drawbacks of the public cloud.
The advantages of public cloud computing include:
Data availability and continuous uptime
24/7 technical expertise
Easy and inexpensive setup
No wasted resources
Drawbacks of the public cloud:
2.5.2. Private cloud service
Private cloud infrastructure may be set-up On-Premise or off-premise and may be managed either internally or by third-party service providers. Private clouds offer highest level of security and control but are expensive. A private cloud is built for the exclusive use of one customer, who owns and fully controls this cloud. Additionally, there are variations of this in terms of ownership, operation, etc. The fact that the cloud is used by a specific customer is the distinguishing feature of any private cloud. A private cloud might be owned by the customer, but built, installed, and managed by a third party rather than the customer. The physical servers might be located at the customer’s premises or sited in a collocation facility. The difference between a private cloud and a public cloud is that in a private cloud-based service, data and processes are managed within the organization, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises. A private cloud provides more security than public clouds because in public cloud the user may not know where their data is stored or how it is backed up and whether unauthorized users can get access to it.
2.5.3. Community cloud service
A community cloud falls between public and private clouds with respect to the target set of consumers. It is somewhat similar to a private cloud, but the infrastructure and computational resources are exclusive to two or more organizations 18. The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive used by a specific community of consumers from organizations that have shared concerns (e.g., mission, security requirements, policy, and compliance considerations). It may be owned, managed, and operated by one or more of the organizations in the community, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises. A community cloud provides many of the benefits of scale of the public cloud, while retaining greater control over compliance and data privacy.
FIGURE 2.1. COMMUNITY CLOUD MODEL 19The advantages 18 of community cloud include:
The cost of setting up a communal cloud versus individual private cloud can be cheaper due to the division of costs among all participants.
Management of the community cloud can be outsourced to a cloud provider. The advantage here is that the provider would be an impartial third party that is bound by contract and that has no preference to any of the clients involved other than what is contractually mandated.
Tools residing in the community cloud can be used to leverage the information stored to serve consumers and the supply chain, such as return tracking and just-in-time production and distribution.
Since it is managed by contract with an impartial third party or by one of or the combined expert of the whole community, it has the advantage of security and privacy over the public cloud.
Drawbacks of community cloud:
Costs higher than public cloud.
2.5.4. Hybrid Cloud service
The cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more clouds (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability (e.g., cloud bursting for load balancing between clouds). A hybrid cloud is typically offered in one of two ways: a vendor has a private cloud and forms a partnership with a public cloud provider, or a public cloud provider forms a partnership with a vendor that provides private cloud platforms. In a hybrid cloud, an organization provides and manages some resources in-house and some out-house. Hybrid clouds 18 offer the cost and scale benefits of public clouds, while also offering the security and control of private clouds. The advantages of the hybrid cloud include:
Reduces capital expenses as part of the organization’s infrastructure, needs are outsourced to public cloud providers.
Improves resource allocation for temporary projects at a vastly reduced cost because the use of public cloud removes the need for investments to carry out these projects.
Helps optimize the infrastructure spending during different stages of the application lifecycle. Public clouds can be tapped for development and testing while private clouds can be used for production. More importantly, public clouds can be used to retire applications, which may be no longer needed because of the move to SaaS, at much lower costs than dedicated on-premise infrastructure.
Offers both the controls available in a private cloud deployment along with the ability to rapidly scale using the public cloud.
Supplies support for cloud-bursting.
Provides drastic improvements in the overall organizational agility, because of the ability to leverage public clouds, leading to increased opportunities.
Drawbacks of the hybrid cloud are:
As a hybrid cloud extends the IT perimeter outside the organizational boundaries, it opens up a larger surface area for attacks with a section of the hybrid cloud infrastructure under the control of the service provider.
An easier approach to solving the identity, needs of hybrid clouds is to extend the existing enterprise identity and access management to the public clouds. This opens up concerns about how this approach will affect the enterprise identity and its impact on the organization’s security.
When organizations manage complex hybrid cloud environments using a management tool, either as a part of the cloud platform or as a third-party tool, organizations should consider the security implications of using such a tool. For example, the management tool should be able to handle the identity and enforce security uniformly across hybrid cloud environments.
A hybrid cloud makes the data flow from a private environment to a public cloud much easier. There are privacy and integrity concerns associated with such data movement because the privacy controls in the public cloud environment vary significantly from the private cloud.
There are risks associated with the security policies spanning the hybrid cloud environment such as issues with how encryption keys are managed in a public cloud compared to a pure private cloud environment.
2.2.4. Related TechnologiesThese technologies are the key technologies supporting the evolution and success of cloud computing, because these technologies paved the way for the platform from which cloud computing is launched. They provided the technology and infrastructure that cloud computing relies on. They also provided the theoretical and practical experiences which cloud computing capitalizes for its success and adoption in business organizations. These technologies are Grid, cluster, virtualization and SOA computing, ancestor of cloud computing.
2.6.1. Grid Computing
It is a form of distributed computing that implements a virtual supercomputer made up of a cluster of networked or internet worked computers acting in unison to perform very large tasks. Thus, grid computing offers to cloud the capabilities for resource sharing, heterogeneity and ability to decentralize resource control.
2.6.2. Computer Clusters
A cluster is a set of multiple interconnected computers. Classifying a set of computers as a cluster requires software that makes that computers work together. Couple of very reason for clustering is performance and high availability, which means a fault tolerant hardware and software configuration. Performance clustering is a natural way to add performance if one node configuration is not enough. High availability configuration adds reliability by avoiding a single point of failure. These configurations are also used together in an active cluster configuration.
Virtualization is the representation of real machine using software that provides an operating environment which can run or host a guest operating system. It is an essential technological characteristic of clouds which hides the technological complexity from the user and enables enhanced flexibility (through aggregation, routing, and translation). By creating a virtual version of a device or resource, virtualization can improve computing efficiency, reduce the need for expensive hardware and cut overall IT costs. As new innovations continue to emerge, this technology is promising to change IT infrastructure and streamline management. Virtual machines are created and managed by virtual machine monitor. More concretely, virtualization supports the following features:
Ease of use: through hiding the complexity of the infrastructure (including management, configuration etc.) virtualization can make it easier for the user to develop new applications, as well as reduces the overhead for controlling the system.
Infrastructure independence: in principle, virtualization allows for higher interoperability by making the code platform independent.
Flexibility and Adaptability: by exposing a virtual execution environment, the underlying infrastructure can change more flexible according to different conditions and requirements (assigning more resources, etc.).
Location independence: services can be accessed independently of the physical location of the user and the resource.
Two basic concepts of virtualization
1.Making multiple physical resources (such as storage devices or servers) appears as a single logical resource.
2.making a single physical resource (such as a server, an operating system, an application, or storage device) appear to function as multiple logical resources
FIGURE 2.2: VIRTUALIZATION ARCHITECTURE
Virtualization has three characteristics that make it ideal for cloud computing 20:
Partitioning: In virtualization, many applications and operating systems (OSes) are supported in a single physical system by partitioning (separating) the available resources.
Isolation: Each virtual machine is isolated from its host physical system and other virtualized machines. Because of this isolation, if one virtual instance crashes, it doesn’t affect the other virtual machines. In addition, data isn’t shared between one virtual container and another.
2.6.4. Service Oriented Architecture
SOA is a standard way for creating connections for enterprise systems. These systems offer their capabilities as services. So, service-oriented architecture and web services enables offering of cloud computing services as web services accessible via the Internet, also SOA makes it possible for cloud services to be available in multiple platforms 21.2.7. Challenges for Adopting Cloud ComputingNow a day choosing cloud computing as a computing paradigm is unquestionable because of the benefits it brings to the ICT sector. Despite its benefits, there are challenges which are related to Lack of resources/expertise, coherent regulatory framework guaranteeing transparency, data protection and respect for data integrity, business, technical and organizational challenges.
FIGURE 2.3: CLOUD ADOPTION CHALLENGES 22Lack of resources/Expertise: The Right Scale report on February 2016 shows that since the 2013 State of the Cloud Report, security has been cited as the top challenge in the cloud. Lack of resources/expertise increased from 27 percent last year to 32 percent to supplant security as the largest concern. As more organizations are placing more workloads in the cloud, the need for expertise has grown. Additional training of IT and development staff will be critical to helping address this challenge.
Security: Security is the most challenging barrier to the adoption cloud computing in financial institutions. Many of the security issues involved in protecting clouds from outside threats are similar to those already facing large data centers. Cloud computing security is an evolving sub-domain of computer security, network security, and, more broadly, information security. It refers to a broad set of policies, technologies, and controls deployed to protect data, applications, and the associated infrastructure of cloud computing 23. Some of the common threats to cloud computing security are: data breaches, data loss, Account/service traffic hijacking, insecure interface and APIs, denial of service, malicious insiders, cloud abuse, insufficient due diligence and shared technology vulnerability.
It is obvious that data is the most precious corporate asset, and companies want to know that their data is safe. Companies feel confident when they store data internally because they have full control over it. There is a general agreement among security professionals and expertise that the overall objective of information security is to preserve the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of an organization’s information 24. To protect information and privacy of their customers’ cloud providers adopt different security mechanisms like encryption, multi-tenancy, and VLAN. The data at rest is encrypted and stored on the storage environment to ensure that even cloud administrators can’t access or modify data. The data in motion is encrypted through the Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) and generic routing encryption (GRE) tunnel, as well as by using a virtual LAN with a software switch available in the Meghdoot stack. Hypervisor’s zoning ensures segregation of access rights and privileges between hardware and the virtual environment 25.
Whenever companies decided to move their data to the cloud they should have a clear understanding about who and how to secure their data at a different level, i.e. Security at the network level, security at the host level and security at the application level. Security at the network level means ensuring data confidentiality and integrity of the organization’s data in transit to and from the public cloud provider. Application level security is usually the responsibility of both the cloud service provider and the customer. Host level security is protecting attacks to the guest operating system, stealing keys used to access and manage the hosts.
Regulatory and Compliance Restrictions: Besides technological and security issues, there are also regulatory, compliance and legal issues to consider when moving to the cloud. Based on business requirements, a company’s computing infrastructure could be focus to certain compliance regulations. Companies should have a clear list of compliance requirements before considering cloud service providers. If the tenant or cloud customer operates in the United States, Canada or the European Union, they’re subject to numerous regulatory requirements. These include Control Objectives for Information and related Technology and Safe Harbor. These laws might relate to where the data is stored or transferred, as well as how well this data is protected from a confidentiality aspect
Performance Bottlenecks: Cloud provisioning is the process of deploying and managing IT resources on cloud infrastructures. Rapid provisioning is a key performance requirement for cloud services, especially when there are a large number of customers requesting resources at the same time. However, it is difficult to determine what factor, or a combination of factors, are the causes of poor provisioning performance because there are no existing tools and methods to trace each status change and execution step in provisioning 26. Multiple virtual machines (VMs) can share CPUs and main memory surprisingly well in cloud computing, but that network (HTTP protocols and bandwidth issues) and disk input output sharing is more problematic.
Lock-In: Vendor lock-in is a situation in which a customer using a product or service cannot easily transition to a competitor’s product or service. Vendor lock-in is usually the result of proprietary technologies that are incompatible with those of competitors. However, it can also be caused by inefficient processes or contract constraints, among other things. Moreover, these types of services dent high switching costs between competing vendors, making customers reluctant or even incapable of transitioning to different vendors. It’s the classic case of a tradeoff between good technology and good business. Unfortunately for customers, bad technology and closed standards sometimes make for a more profitable product. The fear of vendor lock-in is often cited as a major impediment to cloud service adoption.
It is not recommended a company become locked-in with a specific cloud provider, because this dependence may limit control over costs and technical cloud hosting options. It is not uncommon for cloud providers to raise service prices or alter their technology offerings 27.
According to 28, one solution to vendor lock-in is to standardize the APIs in such a way that a SaaS developer could deploy services and data across multiple cloud computing providers so that the failure of a single company would not take all copies of customer data with it. Storage expert Arun Taneja offers the following tips for avoiding cloud vendor lock-in:
Read the fine print of each provider’s policies, and if necessary, ask them directly how they facilitate moving customer data out of their cloud storage repository.
Ask the provider whether they offer data migration tools or services to facilitate the movement of large amounts of data.
Choose providers that have pledged to support emerging industry standards, such as the cloud data management interface standard created by the storage networking industry association.
2.3. Benefits of Cloud Computing in Agriculture SectorCloud computing is one of business solution that every enterprise uses. Many businesses moving to the cloud because cloud computing increases efficiency, effective and offer many more benefits. The benefits of cloud computing for Agriculture are listed in the following paragraph.
In order to meet the needs of agricultural informatization, the cloud computing service platform should be built up and applied in agricultural sector 29. It can not only lower the cost of agriculture, but also greatly improve the capability of information service. According to the features of agricultural sector in Ethiopia, the application of cloud computing will open up a vast storage of agriculture, the tracing management of agricultural products quality, the comprehensive data analysis of agriculture management, the intelligent monitor of agricultural production process, and the service of comprehensive agriculture information.
Cloud computing can provide safe and reliable data storage, powerful computing ability, easy and fast internet service for agricultural information. The use of cloud service can make the vast data collected, stored, disposed and analyzed 30, which appears in the form of multimedia, such as words, pictures, sounds and videos. It will break the limits of data storehouse and make it easy to store, process and use the agricultural information resources. Cloud storage has the advantages of low cost, safe and reliable data, not-stop service, easy to enlarge the capacity and to manage.
The agricultural production process involves vast and complicated information. It is difficult for farmers to directly use those firsthand data to instruct the agriculture production. Experts in agriculture can make accurate judgment only by basing on quantitative analysis 31. Therefore, the production and management of agriculture need the support of intelligent and large-scale computing system. wean while, agricultural information needs real-time collection and analysis based on the dynamic data appearing by minute interval. The large-scale storage and computing power of cloud computing can effectively organize the scattered agriculture information on the internet and turn it into an organized information system. Thus, the information can be managed and controlled. Obviously, cloud computing is important and valuable in data storage, analysis, policymaking and direction of agriculture information. The advantages of the application of cloud computing in agriculture are low cost, convenience and controllability 32. In terms of terminal price and infrastructure, cloud computing is far cheaper than the traditional IT framework. Limited by their own less education, farmers cannot make good use of computers and they need an easy-operated and less input system. The man-machine interface of cloud computing can make it possible to use touch screen and sound recognition, which will play an important role in the field of agriculture, making it easier to operate a computer and providing fast scientific direction and references for government policy-making.
The monitor of property, such as pig house and chicken house and greenhouse plants and orchard, the monitor of quality and growth process will greatly bring about more video data, which will cost a lot and be less safe if stored by individual farmers and businesses. While cloud computing can provide cheap storage service of agriculture video. The adoption of internet storage supported by cloud computing will not only lower the storage cost of agriculture business, but also improve the ability to monitor and alarm by using image recognition of cloud computing 33.
The prediction and analysis of agricultural product, market involves vast data factors and complex computing, which can be exact, rich and audio-visual if supported by cloud computing. The vast data and time rush resulted from agriculture e-commerce and agricultural products trading management, analysis and policy-making also require the support of better system computing capability. Similarly, the circulation and distribution of agricultural products involves far distance, more vehicles, and high efficiency. Large-scale monitor and analysis of GPS data of vehicles also need powerful computing capability.
Recently there have been many food safety accidents, which has been a public concern in society. To trace the responsibility involves agricultural products growing area, circulation and restaurants service 34. There are various types, growing areas, producers, processing and trading places, wide circulation, scattered customers. The data management and complicated computing need the support of cloud computing, which can be highly efficient, accurate, rich and audio-visual. Take pork quality tracing for example, from growing area to dining table, it must guarantee that all pigs have labels, in which the primary production and health records are documented.
2.4. Current Challenges in Ethiopia Agriculture sectorCurrent Ethiopian agriculture sector is still facing several challenges: such as
• Poor knowledge about the weather forecast, pests and diseases.
• Deficient production information
• Not enough sales and distribution information
• Inadequate information about consumption trends
• In sufficient power availability in rural areas
• Poor ICT infrastructure and ICT illiteracy
• Non-availability of timely and relevant content, non-integration of services, poor advisory services and lack of localization, and in particular non-availability of agricultural information.
• Lack of awareness among farmers about the benefits of ICT in agriculture.
2.5. Role of Cloud Computing in Solving these ChallengesLooking at the potential benefits of cloud computing we can list out its role in agricultural development in Ethiopia. Using the applications of cloud, the farmers have nothing to worry about hardware and software investment and also the technical knowledge required to learn them. The farmers will send the request for the specific cloud service using a user-friendly device, and the cloud service provider will analyze and handle the request dynamically, and finally the results will be passed back to the client. They can get most up-to-date farming and propagation techniques, pest control knowledge, and can also track and check the whole process from production, distribution to consumption. They can also leverage the systematic methods in information collection, supply chain logistics, market forecasting and business decision-making.
2.6. Related WorkThe study conducted by 35 proposed architecture of a farm management system using features of internet which concentrated on technique of farming and devices to exchange the information among stakeholders. Further, this study describes the method for better management of only some of the tasks of farmers. Ranya et al. 36 propose ALSE (Agriculture Land Suitability Evaluator) to study several types of land, to find the suitable land for different kinds of crops by analyzing geo-environmental issues. ALSE used GIS (Global Information System) abilities to estimate land using local environment conditions through digital map and based on this information decisions can be made. Raimo et al. 37 proposed FMIS (Farm Management Information System) used to find the precision agriculture requirements for information systems through web-based approach. Author recognized the management of GIS data is a key requirement of precision agriculture. Similarly, the study by Sorensen et al. 38 on the FMIS to examine dynamic requirements of farmers to improve decision processes and their corresponding functionalities. Further, they described that identification of process used for initial analysis of user needs is mandatory for actual design of FMIS.
Sorensen et al. 39 recognized several functional requirements of FMIS and information model is presented based on these requirements to refine decision processes. They accepted that intricacy of FMIS is increasing with increase in functional requirements and create that there is a need of autonomic system to reduce complexity. The study conducted by 40 proposed WASS (Web-based Agricultural Support System) and recognized functionalities (information, collaborative work and decision support) and features of WASS. Based on features, authors divided WASS into three subsystems: production, research-education and management.
Reddy at el. 41 proposed GIS based DSS (Decision Support System) framework in which spatial DSS has been designed for watershed management and management of crop productivity regional and farm level. GIS is used to collect and analyze the graphical images for creation of new rules and decisions for effective management of data. Shitala et al. 42 presented mobile computing-based framework for agriculturists called AgroMobile for cultivation, marketing and analysis of crop images. Further, AgroMobile is used to detect the disease through image processing and also discussed how dynamic needs of user affects the performance of system. Seokkyun et al. 43 proposed cloud-based Disease Forecasting and Livestock Monitoring System (DFLMS) in which sensor networks has been used to collect information and manages virtually. DFLMS provides an effective interface for user, but due to temporary storage mechanism used, it is unable to store and retrieve data in databases for future use.
Renaud et al. 44 presented cloud-based weather forecasting system to collect and analyze the weather data replication and ensures load balancing for management of resources. The study conducted by Peter et al. 45, have proposed as a study which is conducted at majority of farmers in Kenya who are not able to sell their produce at market price due to lack of sufficient information available. Also, the agricultural productivity is being lessen due to the lack of information and resistance developed by the agricultural universities. For such farmers to produce and sell their products at market based competitive prices, information communication technologies (ICT) tools have be availed to them. This is because the development of agriculture is dependent on how fast and relevant information is provided to the end users.
CHAPTER THREERESEARCH METHODOLOGYIn order to achieve the general and specific objectives of the study and to answer the research questions, different data gathering and analysis strategies have been used.
3.1. Research design
The intent of this research is developing a solution to the problem followed by detail analysis of the existing system environment. Hence the research type is a constructive research. Constructive research method implies building of an artifact (practical, theoretical or both) that solves a domain specific problem in order to create knowledge about how the problem can be solved (or understood, explained or modeled) in principle. To give a solution to the problem, the existing system were analyzed by using interview question which helps to study the system.
A qualitative approach was used in this study to conduct the subjective assessment of attitudes, behaviors, and opinions of target data sources (respondents). This approach was selected because of this study aims at to investigate existing IT infrastructure, understand what is happening, and find an alternative solution from an operational point of view.
Process modelIn this research we follow the method of Problem identification, Define the objectives for a solution, Design and prototype development and Evaluation.
FIGURE 3.1: THE RESEARCH PROCESS
Problem identification This phase includes defining the knowledge of the state of the problem and the importance of its solution. We have begun the research by defining the specific research problem and justify the value of a solution by conducting an interview and rigorous analysis of the literature on cloud computing adoption in the Agriculture sector. Since based on the problem definition the researchers atomize the problem conceptually to capture its complexity for developing the proposed cloud computing framework that can effectively provide a solution. The value of the solution also justified motivating the researcher and the audience of the research to pursue the solution and to accept the results and to understand the reasoning associated with the researcher’s understanding of the problem.
Define the objectives for a solutionThis phase aims to identify or drive the requirements for developing the proposed cloud computing framework from knowledge of the state of problems and current solutions. The researchers infer the objectives of a solution from the problem definition and knowledge of what is possible and feasible to align with the agriculture’s requirements. The qualitative objectives are used, which described how a proposed framework is expected to support solutions to problems. The researcher used the conceptual framework to inferred objectives rationally from the problem specification. In order to develop the study conceptual framework, we have started with the literature review to gather relevant requirements and aspects of existing Cloud frameworks.
Conceptually, design research artifact can be any designed object (models, frameworks or instantiations) in which a research contribution is embedded in the design 5227. This phase includes determining the framework’s desired functionality and its architecture and then creating the actual artifact. The knowledge of theory that can be brought to bear in a solution is required to move from the objective of a solution to design and development of the proposed framework. Based on the required knowledge of a solution identified in phase one and two with the literature review and expert interviews analysis to develop the proposed framework: particular processes are selected; the type of deployment model is decided; strategies for storing data; the cloud vendor. Finally, the proposed framework has been designed.
EvaluationThis phase aims to observe and measure how well the framework supports a solution to the problem. Depending on the nature of the problem venue and solution proposed, this study took the qualitative evaluation analysis techniques.
Both primary and secondary data source were used during data collection. Qualitative data were collected from primary sources; such as ICT professional in MOA, relate documentations like policies, schemes and rules passed by the government.
We have also used Secondary data source like previous researchers work, annual reports of MOA and publications on cloud computing paradigm and Agriculture, books, journal articles, and the like for specially to deal with the solution domain.
Data Collection TechniquesIn the previous section, it’s mentioned that different data sources which have been used to achieve the objective of the research. In this section, we have explained that the way how and where to gather this information and why we choose those techniques.
QuestionnairesQuantitative data was collected through targeted questionnaires administered at MOA ministry of agriculture. Questionnaire items can be presented as either close-ended questions or open-ended questions. In this research the questionnaires comprised open-ended questions. The reason the researcher selected the open-ended questions was that these questions help to obtain detail information about the current situation in the sector and effectiveness of integrating agricultural services. Questionnaire items for IT experts and other expert in MOA had 20 items. Questionnaire items for IT experts were used for conducting the prototype evaluation sessions. Accordingly, Questioners was given to 20 carefully selected domain experts from the department of Information Technology and marketing department of MOA and qualitative feedback data was retrieved from the prototype evaluation session. Details pertaining to the evaluation questions and the analysis results can be found in the next chapter.
Semi-structure interview method was selected for this study because it is most suitable considering the nature of the subject and semi structured interview does not strictly follow a formalized list of questions. They will ask more open-ended questions, allowing for a discussion with the interviewee rather than a straightforward question and answer format. Semi-structured interviews give the researcher flexibility to establish the own style of conversation depending on the direction of the interview. The best suitable respondents, ICT experts and marketing personnel were purposively chosen from MOA in order to understand agriculture activities or phenomenon because they understood the technological environment better than the other. Ten IT experts and four marketing personnel from the department of IT and marketing of MOA were interviewed. Interviews were conducted between May 15 and May 30, 2017 and responses were obtained from all selected informants. The objectives and concepts of the study were briefly explained for interviewees. Each informant was interviewed individually by the researcher. Details pertaining to the interview questions and the analysis results can be found in the next chapter.
This research aimed to answer three research questions the first two questions enable to understand the problem domain and the last one for the solution stack. To answer these questions using different data gathering tools like an interview, observation and literature review. These data were organized, analyzed and summarized for a better understanding of the current ICT capability, structure, and usage. As mentioned in the previous section purposive sampling technique has used to understand the willingness of Agriculture sector for integrated service delivery model. The result obtained from the interview have been compared and contrasted with the relevant literature review findings. The analysis made based on the finding of the literature and the data collected from the interview for presenting the requirements to constructing the framework intended in this study.
Literature on the concepts of cloud computing including and related studies was reviewed. Accordingly, interview and review of the relevant literature are employed to develop the knowledge bases required for developing the proposed cloud computing framework.
The Development of the PrototypeTo implement the prototype of the proposed framework we have used different technologies and architectural models listed below.
AnekaAneka is a platform for deploying Clouds developing applications on top of it. It provides a runtime environment and a set of APIs that allow developers to build .NET applications that leverage their computation on either public or private clouds. One of the key features of Aneka is the ability of supporting multiple programming models that are ways of expressing the execution logic of applications by using specific abstractions. This is accomplished by creating a customizable and extensible service-oriented runtime environment represented by a collection of software containers connected together. By leveraging on these architecture advanced services including resource reservation, persistence, storage management, security, and performance monitoring have been implemented. On top of this infrastructure different programming models can be plugged to provide support for different scenarios as demonstrated by the engineering, life science, and industry applications
ASP.NETTo implement the prototype the component of visual studio called ASP.Net (Active Server Pages) platform which is built on the top of visual studio standard edition have been used. ASP.Net is a web development platform, which provides a programming model, a comprehensive software infrastructure and various services required to build up robust web application for PC, as well as mobile devices. ASP.Net is a part of Microsoft .Net platform. ASP.Net applications could be written in either of the following languages such as C#, Visual Basic .Net, Jscript, J# and etc. The key development tool for building ASP.Net applications and front ends is Visual Studio. Visual Studio is an integrated development environment for writing, compiling and debugging the code. It provides a complete set of development tools for building ASP.Net web applications, web services, desktop applications and mobile applications.
Issues of Reliability and ValidityInterview questions were organized in the way helps to answer the research question and respondents who have better domain knowledge were chosen for an interview. The result was organized in a group and compared with an other researchers result. Readily available literature was carefully selected from the authenticated sources. The Scientific research method was applied to the interpretation and explanation of findings. Finally, the proposed framework has evaluated by the developing the prototype and the reaction of ICT experts of the MOA to test its’ validity and acceptability.
CHAPTER FOURPROPOSED CLOUD BASED FRAMEWORK4.1.Backgrounds of the FrameworkThis research has aimed to design cloud-based framework that serves the agricultural sector in Ethiopia. To do this, Firstly, we have studied how the current agricultural sector operations are performed and the agricultural activities which are possible for the integrated service delivery. Secondly, the cloud computing technology which helps to develop the framework has been identified. The main objective of this framework is:- to collect data or information from various users, to analyze the information and create various classes based on the information required, to store the classified information in cloud repository for future use. to response the user query based on information stored in repository.
In literature review and result in discussion section, we have presented the requirements to develop the proposed solution. Based on that assessment the public cloud deployment model is chosen as the deployment model and software as service models are chosen as a cloud service delivery models. In this proposed system we have used multiple data center to protect the entire application from being failure, lack of available resources.
4.2.Building the Framework
The proposed framework is the conceder mechanism that guarantees the resource manager can assist large amount of request without violating SLA. The service of agriculture divided into three types SaaS,PaaS,IaaS.In SaaS,user interface is designed in which user can interact with and Aneka is a .Net based as a calable cloud middleware between cloud subsystem and user subsystem. We deployed agriculture web
service of Agro-Info to provide user interface through Aneka cloud application platform in
which user can access service from any geographical location and information is classified,
stored into cloud repositories and retrieved based on user request at platform level. In IaaS,
resource manager manages the resource based on the identified QoS requirements of a particular
request. Framework of Agro-Info comprises following two subsystems: i) user subsystem and ii) cloud subsystem.
4.2.1.User SubsystemThis subsystem delivers a user interface, in which different type of users interacting with Agro-Info to provide and get useful information about agriculture based on different domains. We have considered different types of information domains in agriculture: crop, weather, soil, pest, fertilizer, productivity, market status, irrigation, cattle and equipment. Users are basically classified in three categories: agriculture expert, agriculture officer and farmer. Agriculture expert shares professional knowledge by answering the user queries and updates the agriculture database based on the latest research done in the field of agriculture with respect to their domain. Agriculture officers are the government officials those provides the latest information about new agriculture policies, schemes and rules passed by the government. Farmer is an important entity of Agro -Info who can take maximum advantage by asking their queries and getting reply after analysis. Users can monitor any data related to their domain and get their response without visiting the agriculture help center. It integrates the different domains of agriculture with Agro-Info. Agro-Info does not require any technical expertise to use this system. The information or queries received from user(s) are forwarded to cloud repository to update and response is send back to particular user on their preconfigured devices (tablets, mobile phones, laptops etc.) via internet.
This subsystem contains the platform in which agriculture web service is hosted on a cloud. Agriculture web service allows to process the agriculture information provided by users (agriculture expert, agriculture officer and farmer) of different domains in agriculture sector. These details are stored in cloud repository in different classes for different domains with unique identification number. The information is monitored, analyzed and processed continuously by Agro-Info. We have designed different classes for every domain and sub classes for further categorization of information. In storage repository, user data is categorized based on different predefined classes of every domain. This information is further forwarded to agriculture experts and agriculture officers for final validation through preconfigured devices. Further, a number of users can use this cloud-based agriculture service.
Agro-Info allows user to upload the data related to different domains of agriculture through preconfigured devices and classified them based on the domains specified in database.
FIGURE 4.1. Proposed Framework 1Initially, Monitors are used to collect the information for monitoring continuously performance variations by comparing expected and actual performance. Actual information about performance is observed based QoS parameters and transfers this information to next module for further analysis.
QoS manager identifies the QoS requirements based on the number and type of user requests. Based on QoS requirements, resource manager identifies resource requirements and allocates and executes the resources at infrastructure level. Performance monitor is used to verify the performance of system and maintain it. Analyze and plan module start analyzing the information received from monitoring module and make a plan for adequate actions for corresponding user request. Numbers of users upload their data of different domains from which Agro-Info selects only relevant information and maintains this as a gathered Target Data. In this sub process, target datasets are created based on the relevant information that will further be considered for analysis detail information.
CHAPTER FIVEDATA ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSIONThis chapter presents the results of the interview described in chapter three. The data collection method utilized was the semi structured interview that provided both control and direction through a list of question under interview. Respondents were ICT managers` and senior staff who have an authority to decide which direction agriculture takes with regard to adopting new IT infrastructure or not and integrate the services. Interviewees were selected from ministry of agriculture ICT department using purposive sampling. Ten interviewees from ICT department and four interviewees from marketing department were interviewed. Accordingly, results are discussed in this chapter by grouping the issues and comparing the interview findings from relevant literature findings.
5.1.Presentation of the Interview ResultIn this section, the data collected from the sample sector were presented and accordingly the appropriate interpretations were made Legal and Regulatory Framework
Table 5.1. Legal and Regulatory framework
Is there any specific legal and regulatory framework to adopt and implement cloud computing in sector?
Number of “Yes” Number of “No”
All respondents were agreed that there are no specific legal frameworks in Ethiopia agricultural sector to adopt and implement cloud computing. Likewise, respondents were agreed that the differences on agricultural regulation in different country will have impact on the adoption of new technological innovation such as cloud computing. Similarly, an interview conducted with one of the sectors’ supervision manager at EMOA also prove that, Ethiopia does not have special rule on the use of cloud computing or it is not yet has included in regulation.
Limitations of ICT Investment and Usage
All Respondents agreed that high investment cost on IT infrastructures, inefficient use of IT
resources, lack of collaboration among national meteorology, marketing and others to share IT resources, internet bandwidth inconsistency, the changing computing needs which bear compatibility problems and other related factors were the key challenges in the current ICT usages of Ethiopian agriculture sector. Lack of up-to-date plan for ICT service delivery strategy also considered as a limitation for sectors` to fully harvest the opportunities presented by the latest technology. The result shows that in regarding to the existing cost incurred on ICT infrastructure to support the agriculture services, many respondents were not agreed about its efficiency. The suggestions from all respondents on cloud indicated that, ‘compared with the existing IT system to support agricultural services, using cloud computing in agriculture sector is efficient to perform agriculture activities at lower costs. Respondents agreed on the insufficiency of the current ICT infrastructure investment and usage suggested that sectors needed to improve the agricultural services by employing the state of the art technology being used anywhere in the world. They also suggested that continual improvement and advancement of technology would assist sectors` for harvesting the actual and expected benefits from ICT.
Sufficiency of technology to achieve sectors mission and vision
Table 5.2. Current Information Technology
Do you think that the current ICT owned by your sectors are sufficient to achieve EMOA mission and vision? Number of “Yes” Number of “No”
The question asked to get the reaction of the respondent whether their ICT is sufficient or not. As shown in table 5 above the entire respondent agreed on the insufficiency of their access ICT to meet their sector mission and vision in satisfying their customers. All the respondents say “NO”.
Market Accessibility for Agriculture product
Table 5.3. Market accessibility
Do you think that the market accessibility for agricultural product through the country is equal? Number of “Yes”
Number of “No”
The question asked about the equality of market accessibility through the country for the agriculture goods and products has been asked all of them say “NO”. It was true there is no uniform market through the country which mean that the accessibility of market is local rather than global (not equal) or big difference is there from market to market.
Availability of integrated service delivery
Table 5.4. Availability of integrated system
Number of “Yes” 0
Number of “no” 14
The question asked about the availability of an integrated services of that needed for Agriculture sector together with meteorology, marketing and others has been asked all of them say “NO”. It was true there is no integrated system in the agricultural sector currently.
5.2.Selection of Cloud Services ProviderBefore dealing with the cloud service user organization should have to analyze the cloud providers’ characteristics like the location of their data center, the service they provide, Service Level Agreement (SLA) and billing method. Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Windows Azur, SalesForce, and IBM are among the major cloud providers. In this research, Windows Azur selected as a candidate cloud provider because Windows Azure platform 46 provides friendly interfaces to deal with the heart of PaaS and SaaS in developing and deploying differently .NET applications start from very simple Hello World applications to distributed relational databases. One of Windows Azure’s services is SQL Azure, which presents DB services from building the DB to deploy it and scale it through Microsoft data centers. SQL Azure includes relational database services, such as reporting, querying, and data synchronizing. Windows Azure offers several features including computing resources, storage, database, Virtual Machines (VMs), access control, Content Delivery Network (CDN), caching, virtual network, service bus, business intelligence, and market place. Windows Azure was built to help developers succeed in their application, especially for the developers who build remote data center applications by providing
different tools. Windows Azure provides a platform service which includes operating systems, a set of developer tools, and different levels on network controls to develop, host, scale, and manage developed applications on web and non-web environments 47.
5.3.Selection of cloud computing service model
Cloud providers basically use three cloud computing service delivery models such as IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. Among these service delivery models, SaaS has been chosen as a service delivery model in this research. The SaaS customer is an end-user of complete applications running on a cloud infrastructure and offered on a platform on-demand. The applications are typically accessible through a thin client interface, such as a web browser. The customer does not control either the underlying infrastructure or platform, other than application parameters for specific user settings. Even if we choose a certain model to deliver a service to the customer there are some synergies among the model. For example, if an infrastructure as a service provider needs some application form to their customer and also, we choose SaaS for the agriculture user they also use the platform and infrastructure of the provider.
5.6.Selection of cloud computing Deployment modelIn literature review section the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing deployment models have been assessed. Based on the assessment and sensitivity of data, we have looked to design a public cloud in which the cloud services targeted sector with common objective and public clod deployment model is cost advantage over other deployment model.
As mentioned in NIST, the cloud computing roadmap any of the four service delivery models can be deployed on any of the three cloud deployment models. Hence the proposed system provides a Agro-info system over the public cloud deployment model as shown below.
Figure 5.1. The service delivery model on public cloud
5.7. The data center networking issueEthiopian public cloud has expected to have multiple distributed data centers which are managed centrally by using the Aneka cloud infrastructure management tool. In each data center the application server, the database server, and the virtual machine manager are necessary to be installed.
CHAPTER SIXPROTOTYPE DEVELOPMENT FOR THE PROPOSED FRAMEWORK AND VALIDATION OF RESULTS6.1. Overview of the PrototypeIn the previous chapter the design of the proposed framework which contain six different layers and which is based on public cloud computing deployment model and SaaS and IaaS service delivery models have been presented. In this chapter, we have discussed how the proposed framework can be implemented and become usable to the agricultural sector. We put here, the highest-level view of the system which looks like and how it works if it will be implemented and the programming tools to implement the framework.
6.2. The Development EnvironmentTo implement the prototype the component of visual studio called ASP.Net (Active Server Pages) platform which is built on the top of visual studio standard edition have been used. ASP.Net is a web development platform, which provides a programming model, a comprehensive software infrastructure and various services required to build up robust web application for PC, as well as mobile devices. ASP.Net is a part of Microsoft .Net platform. ASP.Net applications could be written in either of the following languages such as C#, Visual Basic .Net, Jscript, J# and etc. The key development tool for building ASP.Net applications and front ends is Visual Studio. Visual Studio is an integrated development environment for writing, compiling and debugging the code. It provides a complete set of development tools for building ASP.Net web applications, web services, desktop applications and mobile applications.
ASP.Net framework helps in storing the information regarding the state of the application, which consists of Page state and Session state. The page state is the state of the client that content of various input fields in the web form. The session state is the collective obtained from various pages the user visited and worked with, i.e., the overall session state.
6.3.The Prototype ModelingA model is an abstraction describing system or a subset of a system. Under this topic we have used different kinds of UML (Unified Modeling Language) diagrams to model the functionality and Sequence of activities of the system. Functionality of the system has described by using use case diagrams which describes the functionality of the system from the user’s point of view and Sequence of activities of the system by using sequence diagrams which describes sequence of messages exchanged among a set of objects.
6.3.1. Use Case DiagramUse cases focus on the behavior of the system from an external point of view and describe a function provided by the system that yields a visible result for an actor.
Actors and their related use case identification
. We can identifty the following use cases ad related to each actor:-
Actor name: Agriculture Officer
Related use cases:
Update Agriculture Status
Actor name: Agriculture Expert
Related use cases:
Update Agriculture Status
Actor name: Farmer
Diagnosis of Agriculture status
Use case diagram for the proposed framework prototype
Figure 6.1. Use Case Diagram for Agro-Info
Use case Description
Use case Name: Login
Use case ID: UC1
Actor: Agriculture Expert, Agriculture Officer
Description: – initiated when the Agro-info users want to login
Precondition: The user should have a valid username and password
Main flow of event
The system displays authentication and sign-up link of the system.
A user who has already signed up Inserts its’ role, username, and password
Click login button
The system verifies that the login form was filled correctly
Use case ends
Alternative flow: Access not granted for the user
A-5. The system verifies that the user credential was incorrect
A-6. The system displays an error message that shows the user the user credential was incorrect
A-7. The use case resume from step 2 of main flow of events.
Post condition: The system displays the respective page of the user
Use case name: Registration
Use case ID: UC2
Description: is activated when the farmer wants to Register to Agro-Info system.
Precondition: open Agro-info system
Basic flow of events:
The farmer choses the Agro-Info registration link
The farmer fills the registration form
Click on register button
The system verifies that the Agro-Info registration form was filled correctly
Use case ends
Alternative flow: A System unable to register Agro-Info
A-4. The system verified that the User filled the Agro-Info registration form incorrectly
A-5. The system displays an error message that shows the user filled the form incorrect
A-6. Use case resumes stepping 2 of main flow of events
Post condition: The system displays the successfully registered message
Use case name: Ask Query
Use case ID: UC3
Description: activated when the farmer wants to ask query using Agro-Info system
Pre-condition: user must be registered to the system
Basic flow of events:
The farmer choses the Agro-Info query ask link
The farmer write query
Click on Ask button
The system verifies that the user query form is filled correctly
Use case ends
A-5. The system verified that the User filled the user query form incorrectly
A-5. The system displays an error message that shows the user filled the form incorrect
A-6. Use case resumes stepping 2 of main flow of events
Post condition: The system displays the query send successfully message
Use case name: Answer Query
Use case ID: UC4
Actor: Agriculture Expert, Agriculture Officer
Description: is activated when the Agriculture officer and Agriculture Expert logged in and wants to answer farmer query
Pre-condition: user must be login to the system
Basic flow of events:
The Agriculture officer and Agriculture Expert choses the customer Query link
The Agriculture officer and Agriculture Expert select query that want to answer it.
Write answer of query
Click on send button
Use case ends
A-5. The system verified that the User filled the answer of query form incorrectly
A-5. The system displays an error message that shows the Agriculture officer and Agriculture Expert filled the form incorrect
A-6. Use case resume from step 3 of main flow of events
Post condition: The system displays the customer registered successfully message
Use case name: Update Agriculture Status/Policies
Use case ID: UC5
Actor: Agriculture officer and Agriculture Expert
Description: is activated when the Agriculture officer and Agriculture Expert logged in and wants to Update agriculture policies
Pre-condition: Agriculture officer and Agriculture Expert must be log in to the system
Basic flow of events:
The Agriculture officer and Agriculture Expert choses update Agriculture policy link
The Agriculture officer and Agriculture Expert select policies that want to update
Click on Update button
The system verifies that the updated form was filled correctly
Use case ends
Alternative flow: A System unable to update policy.
A-5. The system verified that the User filled update information incorrectly
A-6. The system displays an error message that shows the user filled the form incorrectly
A-7. Use case resume to step 2 of main flow of events
Post condition: The system displays the policy updated successfully message
Sequence diagramSequence diagram is a dynamic model of use cases, showing the interaction among classes during a specified time period. We have used a sequence diagram to formalize the behavior of the system and to visualize the communication among objects. This diagram describes the flow of messages, events, actions between objects and show time sequences that are not easily depicted in other diagrams.
Figure 6.2. Agro_Info sequence diagram
Description for Agro_Info sequence diagram
When a registered user wants to login the system displays authentication and sign-up link of the system.
A user inserts their organization name. user name and password
Click login button
The system verifies that the login form was filled correctly
If the user fills the login page incorrectly then system displays error message and begin from step 2
Else the user filed the required credentials correctly then the system authenticates user input from the database
If the user input match with the user information in DB then the system display error message and begin from step 2
Else the user input match with the user information in DB then the respective page of the user will be displayed
The sequence ends
Cloud based agriculture web service
Cloud based agriculture web service provides a user platform in which user can access agriculture service. Functional aspects of Agro-Info are shown in Figure below. We have identified various functionalities provided by Agro-Info. Firstly, agriculture web service allows user to create profile for interaction with Agro-Info.
Figure 6.2. Functional aspects of Agro-Info
After profile creation, user is required to provide his personal details along with the details of information domain. Agro-Info analyses the information to verify whether the data is complete or not for further processing by performing various checks. Further data is processed and redundancy of data is removed and data is used to select domain to which data belongs. Information is classified properly in order with unique identification number. This information is further forwarded to agriculture experts and agriculture officers for final validation through preconfigured devices. After successful validation of information, it is stored in AaaS database. If user wants to know the response of their query, then system will diagnose the user query and send response back to that user.
The screen snapshot of the prototypeIn this section, some of the sample application interfaces snapshots have been included.
Validation of ResultsTo clearly define the problem in Ethiopian agriculture industry we have followed the scientific research method and we have prepared the interview question which enables to understand the agricultural environment. The interview includes the best respondent of IT workers having a clear idea about the current working process. The result obtained from the study shows that no single agricultural services in Ethiopia can afford enough access channel to serve their farming community.
As a solution to the problem, we have proposed cloud-based framework which integrate different agricultural services together to support farming community and merging separate data centers which are the causes of performance degradation. The framework also enables the agriculture sector to use agricultural channel owned by one agricultural organization can be used by another agricultural organization, this integrity of services solves the economic limitation of the agricultural sector to afford enough access channel to farming community. As we have observed in current agricultural sectors has no integrated system which gives agricultural service together. Hence, this proposed framework enables them to share agricultural system software and other management system software accordingly they save the unnecessary cost of purchasing and maintain the software purchased from abroad and this also has a value in countries economy. The framework is also valid from the customer’s point of view because it enables them to access information on any device which enables to agricultural service on anytime. The validity of the framework is also checked by developing the prototype.
The reflection from the agricultural sector show that the framework and the prototype solve the current agricultural sector problem but they still doubt in security issue is there. In this research we have achieved the initial goal hence it is valid in achieving the goal of the research.
CHAPTER SEVENCONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORKS 7.1.ConclusionThis research has been begun with the intent to seek a solution to the problem that we have observed from the environment. The problem that initiates to do this research is the unavailability of sufficient agriculture access channel in the agriculture sector. We have inspired by this problem and followed a scientific research method by asking three research question which enables to understand how the current agricultural sectors are operating and what other problems are there, and also what techniques and technologies are there to solve the existing problem.
Interview questions are designed in the way that enables to capture the real economic and potential capability of the agriculture to afford enough infrastructures to their customer and to seek other problems in the agriculture sector. After formulating the problem in agriculture sector, we have reviewed a number of journals and books to give a solution to the existing problem. When we have gone deeper into the study we could have seen other forces that make agriculture sector in Ethiopia to seek another computing strategy. The increment of computer hazards, technological changes initiates customer to use their device, involvement of redundant information, getting equal access in Ethiopia are some of the forces.
The result obtained from the study shows that no single system in Ethiopia agriculture that can afford enough access channel to serve the farming community. Due to this insufficiency, there are some attempts to integrate the agricultural service that owned by a different organization like national meteorology agency, agricultural marketing, agricultural research and others. In these organization, we can observe that unnecessary duplication of efforts and there is no an integrated service that delivered for farmer. Even if challenges to integrate the agricultural services we could observe that there are also individual runs among the organizations that gives services for agriculture industry.
In this thesis, we have proposed cloud-based framework for integrating service related to Agriculture together which uses a public cloud deployment model to make access channels owned by different organization under Ethiopian agricultural sector that gives services for farming community and which shows how to use a single instance of software is shared by all organization under the sector. We have basically considering the integration of agricultural services which is using shared information and the semantic integrity which is based on the meaning of the shared information. Public cloud deployment model has less cost, offering the ability to scale up and down on demand and shifting infrastructure risks from the enterprise to the cloud provider, if even just temporarily. SaaS service delivery model which is installed on the virtual infrastructure is chosen.
The prototype of the framework has been developed using ASP.net platform which is powerful a multi-tier, scalable and security-rich platform. To implement the framework, we have used a separate database model by considering security.
As many design research, the clear contribution of this thesis is a new framework which not ever been developed by other researcher and that enables to integrate agricultural services and to share a single agricultural sector software. 7.2.Future WorksIn this thesis the problem raised and the question asked has been answered and the framework which enables to achieve integrity been designed. We forward some research ideas as a future work to make the framework more reliable.
Since cloud computing needs fast and secure network connection; hence workability of the framework on current Ethiopian internet connection should be tested.
Since security is issues public cloud deployment model, comparative study between private, community cloud and a hybrid cloud is required by deploying both frameworks in test bed environment.
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What is current state of Agricultural service or different kinds of service that exists now?
What is the different technological challenges in agriculture sectors?
What are current challenges in agricultural sectors to use the cloud computing technology or new technology?
How the agricultural sector going to be for next five years?
How the Agricultural services are plan to integrate to provide centralized information in the sector?
What kinds of technical work or framework that can help you to improve quality of agricultural sector?
Is there any system that integrate all agricultural information services such as crop, weather, soil, pest, fertilizer, productivity, market status, irrigation, cattle and equipment together to give a full information for users? What is that?
what are the feedbacks of the users about your ICT service? Positive and negative
Does ministry of agriculture have an ICT policy based on country ICT policy and legal framework for new technology adoption? Do you know them?
What is your suggestion in formulating a new paradigm for providing ICT services and
supports in the ministry of agriculture? And if possible suggest your own solution from the current technology trends?