We have built an AI assistant called Nuru, which is Swahili for light. Nuru is an Artificially Intelligent that has been developed with the UN FAO, CGIAR, and other publicly funded institutions. As an assistant Nuru has learned to diagnose multiple diseases in Cassava, fall armyworm infections in African Maize, potato disease and wheat disease. She is also diagnosing spotted lanternfly pests in Pennsylvania.
We are developing machine learning tools that work with images and video collected by cheap, affordable drones so that extension workers in low income countries can rapidly measure disease pressure in smallholder farmer fields.
We are trialing a nanotech enabled mobile spectrophotometer that has been built by Croptix to diagnose viral infections in cassava even when the plant looks healthy. A major difficult in reducing viral diseases of cassava is preventing the distribution of viral infected cuttings. Mobile spectrophotometry can provide rapid disease diagnostics in the field, in real time
There has been a lot of attention examining the role of satellites for smallholder farmers. We have the privilege of being members of the Planet Ambassador program which provides unrestricted access to the Planet’s suite of microsatellites. We are currently focused on testing how well these perform in comparison to ground truthed data or near ground drone imagery.
We believe that knowledge the helps smallholder farmers grow more food is a public good. This is especially true for knowledge that has been published generated using taxpayer funds. We think the recent trends to paywall agricultural knowledge hurts smallholder farmer productivity. For that reason we created the largest open access library on crop health in the world and will continue to add to this important resource.