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THE YCEO: Leaf Doctor: The App that helps farmers predict crop yield on phone

Farmers will now be able to determine the yield of their crops using a mobile as a new application is introduced to boost agriculture.

Principal Research Scientist at the Crops Research Institute, Beloved Mensah Dzomeku says the difficulty farmers and scientists face in disease control and crop estimation is over.

“This does not need any sophisticated equipment. Any farmer or scientist can use it,” Beloved Mensah Dzomeku emphasizes.

Beloved Mensah Dzomeku

Agricultural survey statistics indicate world agriculture average losses to plant disease in the monetary value of about 16 per cent annually.

Heavy pest incidence might involve losses of between 30 and 40 per cent in Africa.

At the crops Research Institute, Dr. Mark Müller-Linow is trying to determine diseased parts of a leaf using a mobile phone.

He uses an application known as the Leaf Doctor, used quantitatively to assess plant disease intensity.

The App’s operation is based on RGB color model which comes from initials of three primary colors; red, green, and blue.

It has the red, green and blue lights fused together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colors.

The main purpose of the RGB color model is for the sensing, representation and display of images in electronic systems.

They include television, computer and conventional photography.

Leaf Doctor App therefore allows users to collect photographs of plant organs such as leaves. They then measure the percentage of tissue area diseased.

“Healthy parts should usually be green and the non-healthy parts are from yellow to brown.

“We’re using the colour feature to distinguish between the healthy and the non-healthy parts,” Dr. Mark Müller-Linow said.

“Usually you have to make your disease scorings according to your knowledge but it’s a lot of work and needs experience.

“This helps to get a more objective measure of any disease of your plant,” he said.

The European team from Julich Research Centre is also training scientists and framers in crop yield estimates, using mobile technology.

This method, for some time now, was possible only after destroying the plant.

Farmers will also be able to tell when crops are due for irrigation with a mobile phone equipped with temperature measuring camera.

“It gives you an idea how a plant transpires. If a plant is losing lots of water, it’s cool when it’s not it’s warm,” said Dr. Onno Muller Institute of Bio and Geosciences, Julich Research Centre.

The scientists are hopeful it would improve the agricultural landscape of the country.

“Farmers can use it to test new management systems if it works in the environment.

“We can use it to identify new varieties which have performed better in certain environments,” said Dr. Tobias Wojciechowski.



Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Kwasi Debrah | Luv FM

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