SEP 25, 2019 7:52 AM PDT

PlantVillage Nuru: An App that Predicts Climate Change Stress for Farmers in Africa

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Researchers at Penn State reveal an artificial intelligence (AI) app is now available for free in smartphone use and can help protect farmer’s crops in Africa in the face of climate change. 95 percent of the farmers rely on rain to irrigate their crops.

"Hundreds of millions of African farmers are already suffering from the effects of climate change," said David Hughes, associate professor of entomology and biology. "For example, earlier this year, which has been the hottest year on record, Mozambique was hit with two cyclones, both among the strongest ever recorded in East Africa. They caused almost $1 billion in damages and destroyed nearly 80 percent of staple crops throughout the region. They also changed rainfall patterns across East Africa, which further affected the crops."

So the app is called "PlantVillage Nuru" referring to the United Nations Climate Action Summit and has been used across Africa to diagnose crop diseases. Now, data can be drawn from PlantVillage Nuru to increase crop productivity and viability. The app can also offer farmer ‘counseling’ on crop varieties, affordable irrigation methods, etc.

Credit: itta.org, PlantVillage Nuru utilizes diverse data to predict changes in crops and provide advice for in the face of climate warming.

"Our goal is to nudge behavioral changes that will help farmers prepare their farms to be climate ready," said Hughes. "There are proactive behaviors, such as planting for increased crop diversity, promoting soil moisture conservation and engaging in water harvesting, that are known to increase resiliency. Our AI tool is in the early stages, but it will get better over time and with more training. We are releasing it now so we can kick-start the necessary collaboration we need to help African farmers adapt to climate change. As the African proverb says: 'If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.' Climate change means we must act together to help those most in need."

Source: Penn State News

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
APR 18, 2020
Technology
APR 18, 2020
Virtual Reality Can Make Us More Empathetic
Virtual reality (VR) makes us more empathetic—or so says new study published in eNeuro. Learn more about your brai ...
APR 25, 2020
Technology
APR 25, 2020
What Is High-Density EEG?
Researchers are advancing high-density electroencephalography (EEG) for a future in functional neuroimaging. Learn more ...
APR 29, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
APR 29, 2020
Move and Detect : Diagnosis of Neonatal Sepsis Using Fluorescent Micromotors
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), sepsis occurs when the body’s response to an infection injures i ...
MAY 25, 2020
Technology
MAY 25, 2020
Hemoglobin levels Detected Through Your Smartphone
New research shows that by just using your smartphone you can get a diagnosis for oxygen levels in your blood. How so? S ...
JUN 06, 2020
Technology
JUN 06, 2020
The Philosophy Lab: Can We See the World Objectively?
Can we see the world objectively? The long-standing philosophical question was recently answered by Johns Hopkins Univer ...
JUN 26, 2020
Neuroscience
JUN 26, 2020
Artificial and Natural Neurons Communicate Using Dopamine
Researchers from Stanford University have shown that artificial neurons can communicate with biological neurons with dop ...
Loading Comments...