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Nationwide Heart for Crop Safety UPLB
Created by researchers at UP Los Baños, the SPIDTECH smartphone app brings essential data on crop pests and ailments to Pinoy farmers’ fingertips.
Written by Eunice Dianne Y. Algar Y Marcos Vicente R. Mercene
Crop destruction resulting from pests and ailments is likely one of the essential issues going through farmers like Girsky Anda from Atimonan, Quezon. Like most farmers, he believes that professional recommendation on efficient administration of such an issue is essential to stopping agricultural loss. Now, beneficial pest management information is extra extensively obtainable to farmers like him, because of a smartphone app created by researchers on the College of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).
Developed below the Smarter Approaches to Revitalize Agriculture as an Business within the Philippines (SARAI) Undertaking, the Sensible Pest and Illness Identification Expertise (SPIDTECH) has the power to establish crop pests and ailments utilizing solely the digicam of a Android smartphone. Previous to the launch of SPIDTECH, a research on the app’s feasibility, led by laptop scientist Angelo Guiam, was revealed in a 2021 situation of the Philippine Journal of Science.
In line with the Worldwide Rice Analysis Institute (IRRI), farmers lose a mean of 37% of their annual rice manufacturing resulting from pests and ailments. This vastly impacts the revenue of farmers. This drawback led Guiam’s group to create SPIDTECH of which Anda is a beneficiary.
“Younger farmers’ consciousness of how they handle their bugs, their pests, Hindi nila na-ma maximizes the alternatives of younger folks within the discipline resulting from lack of training.Guiam stated.
(“Farmers’ consciousness of how they handle their bugs, their pests, can’t maximize alternatives within the discipline resulting from lack of training”).
SPIDTECH is an instance of good farming, which refers to using know-how, similar to sensors, robots, and synthetic intelligence to make numerous farming duties more practical.
The app has each English and Filipino variations. It additionally has three essential capabilities: identification of insect pests and ailments, a library of insect pests and ailments, and distant monitoring of insect pests and ailments.
Identification of pests and crop ailments. SPIDTECH permits customers to establish crop pests and ailments by a smartphone digicam. (Picture: SPIDTECH app)
First, the Insect Pest and Identification function supplies the power to establish a pest or illness by a smartphone digicam. It contains all of the details about the photographed pest or illness that the Library perform of the applying has. In case there is no such thing as a picture obtainable, it’s going to invite the person to reply some questions to search out the corresponding pest or illness.
Library of crop pests and ailments. This perform incorporates full data on ailments or pests of the principle crops. (Picture: SPIDTECH app)
It additionally has a Library function that incorporates complete data on about 104 crop pests and 89 ailments, together with their names, indicators of their presence, how they develop, multiply and turn into damaging, and tips on how to eliminate them.
Lastly, it has a Distant Monitoring function, which collects information from SPIDTECH customers to investigate and create a map displaying the distribution of crop pests and ailments from completely different components of the Philippines. In line with Guiam, this function is essential for an archipelagic nation just like the Philippines, because it facilitates the gathering of knowledge on crop pests and ailments.
Distant monitoring. The SPIDTECH app retrieves information from its customers, permitting it to map pests and ailments within the Philippines. (Picture: SARAi Undertaking/Youtube)
At the moment, SPIDTECH can be utilized on the principle crops within the Philippines, similar to rice, corn, espresso, cocoa, coconut, sugar cane, banana, soybean, onion and tomato. It may be downloaded at no cost on the Google Play Retailer and Huawei App Gallery. It solely requires 60 MB of storage and can be utilized on any gadget working Android 4.4 (Kitkat) or later. The advantage of that is that it may be used even with out an web connection.
Sensible agriculture. One of many workshops that Undertaking Sarai held in March 2020 for farmers in Nagcarlan, Laguna. (Picture: Nationwide Heart for Crop Safety UPLB)
To advertise using SPIDTECH, Guiam’s analysis group carried out collaborative coaching from 2020 to 2021 with 11 universities and faculties from completely different components of the Philippines, the place agriculture is the principle lifestyle. These embody Mariano Marcos State College, Isabela State College, Central Luzon State College, Mindoro State School of Agriculture and Expertise, College of the Philippines Los Baños, Bicol College), Cebu Technological College, Western Visayas State College, the College of Southern Mindanao, Central Mindanao College, and Southern Philippines College of Science and Expertise. The coaching was additionally attended by farmers, researchers, staff from authorities and personal establishments, agricultural technicians and extensionists from the areas. The Guiam staff taught them tips on how to use SPIDTECH and requested for his or her suggestions and strategies to enhance the app.
Guiam’s article recorded as much as 7400 folks downloading SPIDTECH from March 2019 to July 2021. The app obtained a mean overview ranking of 4.8/5. Throughout this era, it had 5,600 registered customers from 81 provinces within the Philippines, with round 266 new customers added every month. The app at the moment has greater than 8,000 ID requests for numerous crops.
Farmers like Anda stated that good farming applied sciences like SPIDTECH can present an amazing assist to agriculture. However in his opinion, older farmers, who are usually not tech-savvy, might discover it tough to make use of the app.
“‘Yun ‘yung bothering the hole, kasi paying for the know-how, parang naiiwanan sila. Maganda rin sana kung ma-train natin yung mga oldies. Kasi ‘yung ating mga magsasaka, talagang medyo mayaje na sila, ‘yung mga batikan na talaga. Sila ‘yung Quantity One Beneficiary Of Ganitong Mga Expertise,” he stated.
(“That is the hole, as a result of with regards to know-how, they appear to be left behind. It could even be good if we might prepare the outdated guys. As a result of our farmers, they’re really fairly outdated, they’re very skilled. They’re the primary beneficiary.” of such applied sciences”).
Guiam additionally attested to this, including that the SARAI Undertaking is already working with native authorities models to show farmers tips on how to use SPIDTECH. The staff goes on to emphasise that crop pests and ailments are usually not only a drawback for a person farm, however for the complete group to which it belongs, as a result of potential of pests and ailments to breed and migrate. That’s the reason the app additionally goals to evaluate and think about crop pest and illness tendencies within the Philippines.
Guiam believes that SPIDTECH can vastly contribute to selling good agriculture within the nation. He has additionally helped open the door for different researchers to additional examine what good farming is and what it may well additional contribute to the event of the agricultural sector. —MF
Concerning the authors
Eunice Dianne Y. Algar and Mark Vincent R. Mercene are undergraduate college students within the School of Communication for Improvement at UP Los Baños in Laguna.
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