MANAGEMENT&ECONOMICS

Income prediction of apple and pear farmers in Chungnam area by automatic machine learning with H2O.AI

Hyundong  Jang1   Sounghun Kim2,*   

1Division of Horticulture Research, Chungcheongnam-do Agricultural Research and Extension Service, Yesan 32418, Korea
2Department of Agricultural Economics, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea

Abstract

In Korea, apples and pears are among the most important agricultural products to farmers who seek to earn money as income. Generally, farmers make decisions at various stages to maximize their income but they do not always know exactly which option will be the best one. Many previous studies were conducted to solve this problem by predicting farmers’ income structure, but researchers are still exploring better approaches. Currently, machine learning technology is gaining attention as one of the new approaches for farmers’ income prediction. The machine learning technique is a methodology using an algorithm that can learn independently through data. As the level of computer science develops, the performance of machine learning techniques is also improving. The purpose of this study is to predict the income structure of apples and pears using the automatic machine learning solution H2O.AI and to present some implications for apple and pear farmers. The automatic machine learning solution H2O.AI can save time and effort compared to the conventional machine learning techniques such as scikit-learn, because it works automatically to find the best solution. As a result of this research, the following findings are obtained. First, apple farmers should increase their gross income to maximize their income, instead of reducing the cost of growing apples. In particular, apple farmers mainly have to increase production in order to obtain more gross income. As a second-best option, apple farmers should decrease labor and other costs. Second, pear farmers also should increase their gross income to maximize their income but they have to increase the price of pears rather than increasing the production of pears. As a second-best option, pear farmers can decrease labor and other costs.

Figures & Tables

Fig. 1. Basic model of machine learning using scikit-learn.