SpiceUp partner, IPB University, has produced a journal article about smart farming for pepper that specifically looks at fertilizer recommendations. Below you can find a summary of the journal, as well as links to a PowerPoint presentation with a concise summary to the full journal itself. If you have any questions, comments or requests for more information, you can contact the SpiceUp team or get in touch directly with A. Hartono from IPB University, one of the journal’s authors.


Bangka Belitung in Indonesia was once known for its pepper production before farmers turned to tin mining. However, individual farmers still cultivate pepper plantations and these areas take up considerably large areas. These farmers are in need of fertilizer recommendations and it’s important for this information to be provided in an easily accessible manner.

That’s where SpiceUp comes in. Through the application, farmers can simply enter the coordinates of their agricultural plots to get data on their soil properties, as well as fertilizer recommendations.

To prepare this information for farmers, particularly the fertilizer recommendations, land units were developed and representative soil samples with a depth of 0-30cm were collected from each point. By analysing the soil data and looking at the nutrient absorption and soil loss factor, a formula for recommendations was developed. The final product is a map of N, P, K, and other nutrients, as well as a map of fertilizer recommendations for these nutrients.

So how exactly does it work? The information that was collected and analysed by the SpiceUp team is stored in a database centre. When farmers share the coordinates of their land through the app, the database centre sends the relevant information on soil nutrient status and N, P, and K fertilizer recommendations to them. Through the development of this smart farming system, it is expected that agriculture 4.0 can be reached by pepper farmers in Bangka Belitung, particularly related to the application of fertilizers.

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