Pests and diseases diagnostic mobile tool “m-WHEAT” for wheat crop in Ethiopia

Paul Mansingh Jeyabalasingh, L Velmurugan, Dejene Techane Shenkuta, Debella Deressa Bayissa

Abstract


Information is power only when used and applied. Farm Management Information Systems in agriculture have evolved from simple farm recordkeeping into sophisticated and complex systems to support production management. African agriculture is largely traditional and practised by smallholders and pastoralists, predominantly rain-fed, has low-yielding production, and lacks access to critical information, market facilitation, and financial intermediation services. The role that Information Communication Technologies (ICT) can play in addressing these challenges is increasing. Mobile technology, on the other hand, is increasingly being adopted as the technology of choice for delivery of ICT services and solutions. New apps present an opportunity like no other to revolutionize life for farmers. The mobile is not only a communication tool, in future, it will be an important agricultural tool for the farmers. Most mobile apps focus on improving agriculture and have a wide range of functions, such as providing market information, increasing access to extension services, and facilitating market links. For extension workers, it is an additional tool in their kit in the technology transfer. For scientists, it acts as a readily available reference on demand and for students in agriculture, it acts as a learning tool. Mobile app for pest and disease management of crops is an app that allows farmers to identify pests and diseases using their mobile phones and provides remedial measures is the latest addition to using modern digital tools to benefit smallholder farmers. Ethiopia is the largest wheat producer in Sub-Saharan Africa. Wheat is the 4th important cereal crop in the country. Although Ethiopia is the largest wheat producer in Sub-Saharan Africa, it is reliant on foreign wheat imports to satisfy its annual domestic demand. Considering its importance, and also in recent years the crop was affected by rust disease and incurred significant economic loss, wheat crop was selected for this pilot study. Keeping this in to consideration, the mobile application namely, m-WHEAT, was developed, as a pests and diseases diagnostic tool for major pests and diseases of Wheat crop in Ethiopia. The application is developed using android with the help of Extensible Markup Language (XML) for encoding documents in machine-readable form and includes java development tools. The XML based user interface with Java programming in Android SDK is developed to present pests and diseases of wheat and its control measures.

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DOI: 10.17700/jai.2017.8.2.380

Journal of Agricultural Informatics