Amateur gardeners and farmers rejoice! The smartphone app Plantix doesn't just tell you what disease your plant is battling and how you can get rid of it chemical-free, it also tells you where the biggest enemies to your harvest might be lurking, and how best to keep them at bay.
The startup Peat uses a mixture of information and communication technologies, geodata and crowdsourcing to help farmers gain access to important informtion. What disease is attacking my plants? Is it an epidemic in this region? What can I do to avoid losing my harvest? It's important questions like this that the company - and their app Plantix - is trying to answer.
Plantix is, in basic terms, a diagnostic app for plants. It works as a monitoring tool for plant diseases, offering farmers general information about the different kinds of infestations that are currently circulating in the areas that they work. This allows them to take preventative measures to try and keep their crops safe - kind of like an agricultural advance warning system.
As well as being available to use anywhere in the world, amazingly, Plantix is also suitable for farmers who never learned to read and write. All they have to do is take a photo of their crop with the smartphone, and then browse through the app's digital library of plants and possible diseases, to find out what the problem is and - more importanly - what can be done about it. All too often people turn to aggressive chemicals when tackling greenfly and other infestations, but this app offers users a range of alternatives. The photos taken also include GPS information, helping create, piece by piece, a large-scale snapshot of the plant infestations prevalent in the region.
Plantix's digital library of plants, their diseases and how to treat them, is also available offline for farmers throughout the world. Costs are kept as low as possible for the farmers, and the advice given by Plantix is independent and impartial.
For more information about how the app works, check out the video below:
This article was translated from the original by Hanadi that appeared on RESET's German-language platform.