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Mak's John Quinn's app tackles cassava mosaic spread

Smartphones could radically speed up the process of producing a nationwide map on plant health and bug infestation. John Quinn, CIT, Makerere University in Uganda has developed an appthat workers can use to record the severity of the crop disease.

According to an article published by the Newscientist 8th October 2011, the report from the field is linked to the GPS coordinates on the phone and uploaded within minutes to an online map. An algorithm then extrapolates the information across the country.

Workers can also use the phone's camera to take a photo of whiteflies- which spread the African cassava mosaic virus- on the underside of a leaf. Software on the phone then counts the number of bugs.

The software can also estimate the degree to which cassava is infected with other diseases by analysing images of yellow, diseased leaves.

The pilot project, set to begin this month, will involve trained survey teams, but Quinn hopes that untrained farmers will be able to use the app in the future. 

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