App aid for African smallholders

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CIP report details partnership with Plant Village which is leading the way in Kenya.

THE International Potato Center (CIP) has partnered with Plant Village, an agriculture data platform that acts like a virtual extension agent, providing growers with tailored information and real-time advice on growing and managing their crops.

CIP provides data from its mobile app Nuro. The partnership will help to increase potato production, a staple food source of income for many families in Kenya, which in turn will improve agro economics across the continent. The app, available for free download, offers information on weather patterns, soil health, pest outbreaks, and advice on crop management and post-harvest handling.

Plant Village and CIP are now working to expand the use of the app to other countries in Africa, including Rwanda and Uganda, where potato production is also a significant source of income for smallholder farmers.

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CIP provides technical support and expertise to the partnership, drawing on its extensive experience in potato research and development.

“The AI that drives this app needs to be trained, and it takes quite a bit of effort to do this for every disease,” said Jan Kreuze, CIP Crop and Systems Science Division Leader and collaborator with Plant Village. “We’ve been validating the app for late blight, early blight, and viruses, and I think it does a really good job. Now we need to tweak it for other diseases.”

The partnership demonstrates the potential of technology and agronomy to transform agro economics in Africa. By providing farmers with access to real-time information and advice, and connections to markets, the app can help improve their livelihoods, strengthen their food security and resilience, and contribute to the development of their communities.

Source/photo: CIP

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