Telangana

Crop damage, nip it in the bud

Can you identify the disease that’s damaging your crop? Do you know how to treat it?

Here is a mobile application that can address the problem. If you click a photo of the leaf and upload it, the app identifies the disease and suggests what measures are required to protect a plant.

The app – Plantix – developed by Progressive Environmental and Agricultural Technologies (PEAT), a German-based company started by young entrepreneurs. The application is being used by select farmers who have smart phones in India on pilot basis and the results are impressive. This app can be downloaded from playstore.

While existing technologies need human intervention for suggestions, this technology uses artificial intelligence to forward suggestions to farmers. The photo uploaded would be compared with the previous similar photos and suggestions would be forwarded to farmers.

PEAT has also developed protocol for suggesting remedial measures for diseases affecting crops like beans, wheat, pigeon pea, paddy, sorghum, millets, pluses and vegetables. The representatives of PEAT have clicked as many as 5,000 photos of different kinds of leaves that were adversely affected with diseases. These photos would be connected to the PETA server which would identify identical problems and suggest measures. If a particular problem has no solution in the server, scientists would identify the problem and suggest measures. At present, the application is available only in English and would be made available in Telugu by next year. “We are using artificial intelligence so that machines can take decisions based on data supplied by the server and suggest remedial measures. The machine will do all the job based on pre-fed information instead of scientists examining the photos and giving suggestions. Hence, the result will be instant and within seconds, farmers get the suggestions on the screen. It also suggests not to go for any pesticide if it’s not necessary. This saves money for farmers as well,” said Charlotte Schumann, an expert in knowledge management, and Alexander Kennepohl, an expert in plant pathology and data, both from PETA. They are also part of a seven-member founding team of the company.

They said about 25,000 farmers have already been using this application in Germany.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 10:17:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/Crop-damage-nip-it-in-the-bud/article14623357.ece

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