Forests are a huge source of natural resources. The produce from the forests, both herbal and non-herbal, is an excellent source of income for the native farmers, and villagers. The government often becomes their primary customer too. Who, in turn, re-sells the products to the retail markets after standardized processing, packaging, and labeling. Often in countries like India, the record-keeping process of buying, processing, and selling these products has traditionally been manual. which comes with its own set of drawbacks. Decision-makers often have to deal with outdated, unfiltered information. Inter-departmental sharing of information is also delayed, resulting in a delay in policymaking. To overcome this, mroads has created a solution that aids the operators at all levels.
The software solution developed is a comprehensive data collection, reporting, and data visualization platform that replaces the manual process of collecting and record-keeping the information collected from the forest produce collectors (Sangrahaks). It is entirely a cloud-based, all-inclusive solution with multiple modules, catering to each level of the information chain. It has connected modules that start from “Procurement” of the raw product, through “Processing” and then transferring to “Godowns”. User Management, List reports, Dashboards, Lot Management, Marketing and retail etc. are on the web providing a wide spectrum of cross-functional utilities.
One of the major challenges in developing software solutions in forest areas has been the lack of internet infrastructure. But as the world moves towards data-driven policymaking, the collection, analysis, and retrieval of the data have become essential. The improved internet penetration, advancement in cloud computing, and growth in computer literacy are allowing organizations in these areas to explore the possibilities of building these software applications.
The system needed to be reliable, secure, and cost-efficient; since the major part of operations would be dependent on it, even a small downtime would create chaos.
The product is used in rural, forest areas with limited technological resources; so the physical infrastructure needed to be minimal, if not none.
Since the user base is huge, It was required to encapsulate the complex workflows and provide multiple interfaces, one for each kind of user.
The quantity of data is also vast which makes the retrieval and representation of it challenging. At peak hours, the traffic was expected to spike, which could lead to system crashes; so the solution needed to be high-performing and easily scalable.
A wide array of AWS tools were used to build this solution. It's built on Amazon EC2 infrastructure which provides reliable, and cost-efficient computing space. AWS Lambda is also used to make use of its event-driven compute services & applications. Since we are dealing with large amounts of data, the storage used needs to be highly reliable and extensive, for which Amazon S3 and Amazon EBS are used.
Other AWS services include Database service-RDS, which allows easy operation of databases on the cloud. DNS service, Route-53 which is highly available & Scalable is also used. Amazon CloudFront is used which provides cached content to users using global proxy servers. Since the number of users is large, Amazon Cognito is used to authorize, authenticate, and manage users. Elastic Beanstalk is used to manage and orchestrate all the other AWS services used to make the system more flexible, and easy to use. Amazon services like CodePipeline, CodeBuild, and CodeDeploy are used to sequence, compile, run, and deploy the software packages on EC2.