Agriculture is a major source of income for Ethiopia and the country’s economy highly dependent 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 involved 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. Nowadays, there are different approaches that used to improve crop production. One of the methods that 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 improves 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 vastly benefiting 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 break down 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 installing information technology infrastructure and services over the network, an organization can be getting these resources as-needed source and reduce the capital price of software and hardware. In cloud computing, IT measurements can be used to quickly and easily to accommodate variations in demand. Though remotely hosted, control services have long been a portion of the IT landscape, a sensitive interest in cloud computing is being powered by global networks, growing standards, the increment of hardware and software virtualization, and push to make IT costs flexible and transparent 8. There are three cloud service models such as Infrastructure as a Service(IaaS), Platform as a Service(PaaS), Software as a Service(SaaS) that available as subscription-based services in a pay-as-you-go model and other critical features to clients 9.
There are four cloud deployment models are available currently, these are private cloud, community cloud, public cloud and hybrid cloud. By considering the availability of services, acceptance, accessibility, and adoption, in this study public cloud deployment model has been selected as a deployment model for the agricultural sector in Ethiopia. public cloud computing is a cost advantage, the ability to scale up and down on demand and shifting infrastructure risks from the enterprise to the cloud provider.
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.