Sustainable crop protection with human artificial intelligence interface (HAII)

“Non-Stop Shop”, is a human-artificial intelligence inference (HAII) software and wet bench hybrid mobile app platform with a solution for information access and diagnostics information dissemination in agriculture offering a user-friendly interface.

My idea is based on mixing up available data and published recommended diagnostics on pathological and metabolic diseases from wet bench experimentation and consensus into software bank that is available, through ICT, to the internet and a mobile app.  This is relevant for many places and especially useful for a country like Nepal because a farmer in a remote area does not get diagnostics, advisory services or training. Agriculture experts and decent laboratories are mostly available in urban areas, research centers, and universities. Our plan is to accumulate all available diagnostics data and treatments recommendations approved by scientific consensus in image and other computer readable formats. It can be freely downloaded from the internet like Google Play Store or Apple store.  The telecom and internet network reaches all corners of Nepal and the latest generations of Smartphone users are growing. It can help in mass messaging, user feedback collection, providing diagnostic services on plant diseases, and consultancies on seeds, breeds, fertilizers, soil, and irrigation. It can aid in health assessment.

Unmanned aerial vehicles like drone services will be included in our system. The drone will be provided to a farmers group. The drone will be flown over an agricultural field. The captured images will be sent to our local service providing station and at our headquarters. The drone will capture the images from the field and with the uses artificial intelligence; it will be translated into disease symptoms and analyzed by HAII. Comparing the observed images of diseased plant, pathogens, pests, and plant health, it can do things a farmer, a technician and service provider cannot do alone by electro-mechanizing every step of farming and eliminating human errors. Drones can help in warning a farmer 10 days in advance about crop growth and fertilizer requirements. By scanning a crop using the multispectral camera with both visible and near-infrared light, drone-carried devices can identify which plants reflect different amounts of very precise and specific wavelengths, like green light and NIR light. This information can produce multispectral images that track changes in plants and indicate their health.

An integrated agricultural information system will be created. A strong link will be established between governmental agro-service centers, other agencies like Nepal Agricultural Research Council’s regional stations and its HQs, Universities, colleges, private diagnostic labs, and consultancies. Web interfaces and customizing will be built according to the needs and nature of agriculture work. Local farmer groups will be strengthened in running the interface. We will collaborate with many organizations and stakeholders to share the knowledge and benefits.  The farmers’ cooperatives, the suppliers and the market sellers will be encouraged to subscribe to the application in order to list their contact info on the application. Services will be provided either free of cost if there is a sponsor for farmers, or at a very nominal cost.  Advertisements from agro-suppliers will support the financial need of the system. This is how the app will generate revenue. It will be real science and technology-based services on genuine advice and consulting services from subject experts, unlike other secondary information flooding apps.

Himalayan College of Agricultural Sciences & Technology (HICAST) recently partnered with NFL and had a trial drone flight that was conducted for the agricultural study. Our team mapped a local kiwi farm in a terraced field of Sindupalchwok District of Nepal by using a Parrot Sequoia camera to measure both RGB and multispectral data to gain insight into crop health. The purpose of this mission was to demonstrate that some aspects of precision agriculture can be applied to low-income farmers, without the need for expensive variable-rate application technology. This technology will create jobs, add value to products, reduce product losses, and make Nepali farmers globally more competitive.  

Along with farmers, students, job-holders in government organizations and non- governmental organizations working for farmers and agriculture along with those having a special interest in modern farming technology will benefit. In 5 years, 100,000 or more farmers in many districts of Nepal will benefit from having the necessary information. It will empower the farmers, raise awareness, shape the country’s economy, increase work efficiency and productivity, ensure better risk management, reduce costs and lessen losses.

I have a dream to provide smart services to the people in need, which is only possible with science and technology. I want to bring in innovative ideas for invigorating agriculture in my country. There will be an agricultural revolution in my country if this technology is systematically applied. Nepalese agriculture will change into smart and precision based agriculture. It can provide big lift and makeover to Nepalese agriculture alleviating poverty, ensuring food security and sustainability.

Aastha Pudasainee, Nepal

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