Artificial Intelligence To Detect Diseases And Pests In Horticultural Crops

Artificial Intelligence To Detect Diseases And Pests In Horticultural Crops
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According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), annual crop losses due to biotic pressures, such as diseases and pests, range between 20 and 40 percent. To all this, we must add the abiotic pressures that crops may suffer, such as drought, salinity, or nutritional deficiencies. All this damage undermines the livelihood of a large section of the population in rural areas, harms national economies, and threatens food security.

 

Doctor X Nabat is the name of an application for early detection of diseases and pests in horticultural crops that has been developed by members of the Plant Fenomics group, belonging to the University of Barcelona (UB) and Agrotecnio (a CERCA center attached to the University of Lleida), together with the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) in Dubai (United Arab Emirates).

This tool, aimed at farmers and agricultural technicians, is available for mobile phones with Android systems and computers. The application uses an ODK Collect form and, through a photograph provided by the user, is capable of scanning the damage to the plant and providing an effective response with the appropriate treatment. Doctor X Nabat has been tested with tomato, pepper, and cucumber crops from Egypt, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates, and is being developed for other crops in Mediterranean areas.

Doctor X Nabat, which is the result of a two-year joint research project, has focused on facilitating a premature response to the appearance of diseases or pests in crops, with the ultimate goal of avoiding crop loss and reducing the need for intensive applications of plant protection products. “Artificial intelligence offers many possibilities to agriculture, and one of them is the creation of free applications like this one, which we have made available to farmers to help them combat their losses,” explains the principal investigator of the Plant Phenomics group, Josep Lluís Araus, professor of the Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences of the Faculty of Biology of the UB.

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Artificial Intelligence To Detect Diseases And Pests In Horticultural Crops

Doctor X Nabat is an application that allows you to identify with a photograph the premature appearance of diseases and pests in plants and reduce crop losses. (Photo: UB)

The deep learning or deep learning technology used by the project has been key to increasing the speed and efficiency of the mechanisms that configure the application. As explained by one of the main promoters of the project, Shawn Carlisle Kefauver, a member of Plant Fenomics, “deep learning allows us to speed up the operation of the application so that the farmer who is in the field receives an immediate response after uploading the image of the disease, only in ten seconds». The Doctor X Nabat algorithm —and its web format, DoctorXUB.com— has been developed from more than 25,000 photographs of different pests, diseases, abiotic pressures, and nutritional deficiencies that have been uploaded by the project’s research staff and their collaborators.

To use Doctor X Nabat, the farmer takes a photo of an affected plant in his field. Next, the application issues a precise diagnosis that indicates with a percentage of probability what disease or plague it is and how it can be addressed. The phytosanitary treatment offered as a solution is one of those accepted by the European Union standards.

Doctor X Nabat is available in English and a second version including French and Arabic is currently in development. The latest version, now in beta, will also provide a remedy to eradicate pests with organic fertilizers. To make it known to the public and bring it closer to developing countries in the Mediterranean area, during 2022 the research teams from the UB, Agrotecnio, and ICBA will organize training activities aimed at farmers on how the application works. (Source: UB)

Source:

Editorial, NDLC (2022d, March 22). Artificial intelligence to detect diseases and pests in horticultural crops. Science and Technology News (Amazings® / NCYT®). Retrieved March 24, 2022, from https://noticiasdelaciencia.com/art/43909/inteligencia-artificial-para-detectar-enfermedades-y-plagas-en-cultivos-horticolas

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