Early this year, Feed the Future supported by Land O’Lakes International Development and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, launched a 400,000 USD worth Fall Armyworm Tech Prize, aimed at leveraging the immense progress in mobile and digital technology to get timely, context-specific, and actionable information into the hands of smallholder farmers and those who support them.
In order to enhance on the already existing pest and disease diagnosis module on EzyAgric, Akorion applied for this opportunity and was selected among the 20 global finalists to attend a co-creation event with mentors, experts and farmers that was held in Uganda. From feedback from this event, EzyAgric fall Armyworm module was further refined with intense field testing with farmers who had been affected by the fall armyworm. Supported by the ResilientAfrica Network (RAN), EzyAgric team worked very closely with experts from National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) who supported with content and close monitoring of the fall armyworm lifecycle.
Using this content, the EzyAgric team used Artificial Intelligence, image processing to create a model that immediately recognizes fall armyworm at different stages of its lifecycle that is; the eggs, 6 growth stages of the caterpillar (instars), pupa and the adult moth. On the same application, the farmer is also advised about the instant next steps to take in case of presence of the fall armyworm and can proceed to immediately purchase the recommended remedies on the same application.
Excitingly on November 14th 2018, EzyAgric was awarded $75,000 after being selected as the second winner of the Global winners of Feed the Future Fall Army Prize Challenge using Artificial Intelligence in Cape Town South Africa.
‘Wow, EzyAgric is one of the most potentially transformative and promising solutions globally. It is one of the innovative projects RAN is currently incubating under the Center for Digital Innovation (CDI)-USAID Uganda Project). We pledge our continued support to these innovators and more until they positive enormously contribute to addressing community challenges’ noted Harriet Adong, RAN Communications Manager.
The farmer can now predict and accurately diagnose fall armyworm by click of a button. Details are shared and can be accessed the official USAID Global Development Lab tweet on the link below https://twitter.com/GlobalDevLab/status/1062805328834764802
We are equally happy to share a link to an article authored by the USAID Administrator where he profiles three Women who are bridging the digital divide including our own Esther Karwera of EzyAgric Innovation. Details are shared and accessible on https://medium.com/usaid-2030/three-women-who-are-bridging-the-digital-gender-divide-61249e700016?fbclid=IwAR19yh_wtVCqAA7c7s8pDI17dh4McHFviV0zzQt6JKUPwCUOtX95aBaM2vo
The Awards in pictures