CSIR-SAI, CABI improve agric with mobile application

By Radio Mak


The Savanna Agricultural Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-SARI) in collaboration with the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) has developed a mobile application to help improve agriculture.
The application, called “Telegraph” which could also be downloaded on computers, had the ability to detect the timing of insect pests and diseases on the fields of farms and suggest the best management practices to undertake to control those pests and diseases.
Dr Jerry Nboyine, an Entomologist at the CSIR-SARI who revealed this to Mak News in an interview in Wa noted that it was being piloted in Ghana and Kenya.
Dr. Nboyine explained that the mobile application was the end product of a project, dubbed “Pest Risk Information Services”, (PRISE) launched last year and aimed to develop a system that was beneficial to every person in the agricultural value chain.
The Entomologist explained that CABI had trained some selected Agricultural Extension Officers who worked closely with farmers to ensure they benefited the project.
He noted that those trained plant doctors would receive the information and intern relay the information to the farmers.
“In most of our agricultural systems, one of the major challenges is the issue of insect pest and diseases, so what we are trying to do is we want to get much information which will be fed into a system and that system will now send messages to individuals.
Those individuals have been trained by CABI and called plant doctors…so that message go to them and tell them what insect pest or disease the farmer should expect on his farm at any point in time, then it will even go ahead to tell them what management action they should take to solve that particular problem”, Dr. Nboyine .
The Telegraph required farmers and other users to download and install on their computers or mobile phone, input their location and mobile phone number and the system would provide them information daily on when pest would invade their farms and how to control them.
He indicated that agriculture was dynamic hence the need for improved technology in the sector and was optimistic that there were better days ahead for farmer in Ghana.
“These days agriculture is very dynamic and we cannot continue using the strategies of the 1970s to achieve good results in Ghana in 2019…there are a lot of technologies that are available to enable us maximize yields in the little areas that we have and farmers should always be ready to embrace such things”, Dr. Nboyine stated.

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