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2018-03-08T04:00:00.0000000Z
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Plantwise trials image recognition app Plantix in India

Plantwise Blog
https://blog.plantwise.org/2018/03/09/plantwise-trials-image-recognition-app-plantix-in-india/

By Marin Hirschfeld

Plantwise and the German-based company PEAT (Progressive Environmental & Agricultural Technologies) are about to conduct an 18-month pilot study to assess the benefits of PEAT’s smartphone app Plantix, which identifies plant pests, diseases and nutrient deficiencies in the field.

The app further offers advice on remedies ranging from conventional control options to preventive measures and bio-pesticide control. This includes a community feature where agricultural stakeholders can exchange their knowledge. The goal of the common project is to evaluate and further improve Plantix’ detection rate and put a stronger emphasis on control options that are less harmful but very effective such as biological treatments and Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

Scientists will be using Plantwise plant clinics run by MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in Tamil Nadu, India and their network of plant doctors to evaluate and improve the Plantix app, developed by PEAT. The app utilises the smartphone’s camera to deliver automatic image recognition-based diagnosis of pests, diseases and nutrient deficiencies affecting rice, groundnut, brinjal, chillies and banana in Tamil Nadu.

Plantix has been developed to give plant doctors as well as extension workers and farmers an improved ability to identify economically-important insect pests, diseases and nutrient deficiencies and manage them in order to safeguard crops and livelihoods. Mike Reeve, Innovations Manager at CABI, said: “With suitable training, the Plantix app is able to provide a rapid diagnosis of plant pests and diseases and, through its built-in community platform, can then offer treatment advice. Automated analysis of smartphone images has enormous potential, especially where there is lack of expert human diagnosis in the field, and we are delighted to be collaborating with PEAT to evaluate and further develop this technology in Tamil Nadu.”

The app works by employing Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Deep Neural Networks, or DNNs. The software also has the ability to be multi-lingual and is currently available in Hindi, Telugu and English in India as well as five other languages for use in other countries. During this year, six other local Indian languages will also be launched.

Malvika Chaudhary, Asia Regional Coordinator, Plantwise, said, “Crop losses are mainly caused by plant diseases, weeds, pests and soil-nutrient deficiencies. It is important that we use technologies such as Plantix to identify and diagnose problems quickly so that remedies can be applied to prevent further losses.

Working as part of the wider Plantwise plant clinic network, and using data gained from the Plantwise Knowledge Bank, Plantix can be a valuable tool in offering effective pest management advice which may include bio-pesticides that are alternatives to the quite toxic, synthetic, pesticides currently in use.”

Looking forward, Plantix can also serve as a citizen-science tool, where extension workers, plant doctors and farmers upload information about insect pests and diseases so that their distribution can be mapped and knowledge of their management improved.

“With the right expertise from CABI and PEAT, we can therefore improve the knowledge and control of diseases and pests in space and time,” says Korbinian Hartberger, Country Manager at PEAT. He sees the potential of the collaboration of PEAT and CABI in Tamil Nadu as very beneficial on various additional levels. “The most important benefit, however, will be for the farmers, that will gain access to a sound decision support tool that helps them produce more in a more sustainable manner.”

For more on Plantix go to www.plantix.net

IPM
CABI_Plantwise
Plantix
Plant_health_clinics

Responses

   0
2018-03-10T14:00:00.0000000Z
It isn't clear to me whether or not it can identify weed species. Do you know?
Joel
Joel E. Miles, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 1543
Republic of Palau 96940
Email: joelmiles52@gmail.com
phone: 680-488-8664
cell: 680-778-8407

Posted on user's behalf
CABI_Plantwise
Plantix
   0
2018-03-11T14:00:00.0000000Z

No, Joel, I don't know, but think not. But it does say this:

Disease library

Plantix provides detailed descriptions of biological and chemical control methods for hundreds of diseases. END

I think it is great that these algorithms are being developed. At the present time though, the variability of disease symptoms is a major problem for them, but as they learn more they will become more accurate - that is obvious. Whether they will be able to do without human oversight, we will see. Incorrect diagnoses could result in costly mistakes.

grahame

CABI_Plantwise
Plantix
   0
2018-03-12T14:00:00.0000000Z
Dear Joel

I fully agree with your apprehension and that is reason Plantwise is associating to find out to what accuracy Plant doctors are able to use this app. Initial interface of Plant clinics will help us understand the efficiency of Plantix also ensuring the quality of output with much more confidence.

Nevertheless the focal area of rural advisory requires a serious effort to optimize the service with cost effectiveness for maximum outreach.

Kind regards

Malvika

Dr. Malvika ChaudharyRegional Coordinator- Plantwise AsiaCABI South Asia – India
2nd Floor, 7-B Pusa Road,
Rajendra Park, New Delhi – 110060
India
Telephone:  +91 (0)11 48782200Mobile: +91 9740044887
Email: m.chaudhary@cabi.orgVisit us at: www.cabi.org

Posted on user's behalf

   0
2018-07-02T07:08:24.1259467Z
Dear Joel

As per the PEAT (developer of Plantix) response until now they don't have any datasets for a weed detection established, but it would be possible to train Plantix on such detection.

Kind regards

Malvika

Dr. Malvika ChaudharyRegional Coordinator- Plantwise AsiaCABI South Asia – India
2nd Floor, 7-B Pusa Road,
Rajendra Park, New Delhi – 110060
India
Telephone:  +91 (0)11 48782200
Mobile: +91 9740044887
Email: m.chaudhary@cabi.orgVisit us at: www.cabi.org

Posted on user's behalf

CABI_Plantwise
Plantix
   0
2018-07-02T07:11:04.5199286Z
Yes, "Whether they will be able to do without human oversight, we will see. Incorrect diagnoses could result in costly mistakes." Guidebooks and ID guides are great tools, but for serious decision-making consult an expert.

It seems to me that not enough effort is put into identifying, preventing, and controlling weeds, which is why I asked.

Joel

Joel E. Miles, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 1543
Republic of Palau 96940
Email: joelmiles52@gmail.com
phone: 680-488-8664
cell: 680-778-8407

Posted on user's behalf
CABI_Plantwise
Plantix