The development comes as a result of an internet platform, www.infonet-biovision.org, launched today by icipe – African Insect Science for Food and Health and the Swiss-based BioVision Foundation with funding from the Principality of Liechtenstein, through its Government Development Agency.
The site, explained BioVision Chief Executive Officer, Andreas Schriber, is different from search engines because it is designed with farmers, and trainers of farmers in mind. “Imagine a tomato farmer whose crop is invested by a disease. In order to protect the plants, he needs to identify the disease first. If he types in “tomato diseases” in one of the general search engines available on the world wide web (www), the result might be millions of pages. Most of them will be characterised by heavy scientific jargon, and the farmer will have a difficult time sieving through all of them,” he says.
Mr Schriber notes that in contrast, www.infonet-biovision.org, has collated all the various possible diseases of tomatoes in the region, and their visual symptoms, either through photographs or illustrations. “All the farmer will have to do is identify the picture that most closely represents the damage on his crop, and he will be guided to carefully selected and edited methods, tips and strategies, on how to go the problem.”
This information, emphasises icipe Director General, Prof Christian Borgemeister, is scientifically accurate, having been compiled by local and international experts in collaboration with a network of partner organizations. More importantly, it incorporates farmers’ perspective.Currently, explains project leader Monique Hunziker the site incorporates information on over 40 major pests from those that affect the production in the farms, such as aphids, to those that damage the crop while in storage. This material has taken into consideration more than 35 major crops, vegetables and fruits grown in East Africa.
“This is a starting point that we are building-up on, adding more content on a daily basis. We have, for instance, already started to put together information on soil and water conservation, natural enemies, on medicinal plants, the processing and preservation of fruits and vegetables and on organic farming and plant nutrition,” says Mr Schriber.
In addition, the plan is to integrate information on simple and environmentally safe technologies and approaches to generate incomes, and more information on human health (integrated malaria control) and animal health (i.e. animal keeping, tsetse, tick control) and many more issues.
icipe and BioVision are aware that for farmers to take advantage of this initiative, they must at least have access to a computer, and the ability to use it. Initial field tests of Infonet, however, show that even for beginners with no computer knowledge whatsoever, it takes as little as 20 minutes to get acquainted with the platform.
For farmers who have computers but no internet access there is an off-line version of Infonet available, downloadable immediately from the website or available on Compact Discs or USB flash sticks.
Liz Nganga | alfa
Climate change, population growth may lead to open ocean aquaculture
05.10.2017 | Oregon State University
New machine evaluates soybean at harvest for quality
04.10.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research