Nepal’s first AI-based device partner has been unveiled to help Nepal’s farmers identify and address a variety of problems they face in farming through the use of artificial intelligence ( AI ).
The device was developed by Impactors, a group of women technicians active under the Women’s Development Society ( WODES ), under the supervision of information technology expert Lachna Hada.
This latest use of AI is believed to be instrumental in reviving Nepal’s declining agribusiness and providing the benefits of information technology to ordinary farmers as well as the practice of following traditional technologies as well as climate change, declining soil quality, lack of information on state-of-the-art agricultural technology.
The companion device, built with the help of computer science, especially machine learning and AI, electrical engineering, and agricultural science, provides instant information to Nepali farmers on the spot, eliminating the need to go to the laboratory for health tests of their farm soil and crop health and the long wait for test results.
The use of this device enables the farmer to choose which crop is best for planting as the quality of field soil can be identified. It also helps in overseeing the health of the crop and also encourages timely initiatives for appropriate treatment.
Currently available on Android, this app will soon be available on iOS as well. The ‘ Saathi’ device is designed with hardware and software that can be easily connected and used at a low cost. A prototype with sensors that can perform complex agricultural analyzes collects soil and crop data.
Friend’s software on laptops or mobiles analyzes the data and provides information on soil salinity, temperature, humidity, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and acidity. The software can also identify 26 types of crop diseases.
Currently, the device can detect diseases in 23 types of crops including paddy, wheat, banana, turnip, potato, jute, and coffee. This technology does not require internet or cloud infrastructure to operate, so farmers in remote areas can easily use it.
Impactors aim to facilitate further scientific research on the use of information technology in the agricultural sector by providing this device free of charge for agricultural research rather than making a profit by commercial production of this device.
Due to the limited number of agricultural laboratories in Nepal, most farmers have to travel long distances to get their services. They also have to wait a long time for a test report.
In this way, farmers who do not have easy access to scientific information about the quality of soil and the health of their crops are provided with this information in the field. Is also believed to contribute.
Developed in a short span of ten months, the AI-based device has been successfully tested at Satungal and Pharping in Kathmandu. An encouraging response has been received from farmers during the test.
The ‘Impactors’ group, led by information and technology expert Lachna Hada, has been leading the way in developing the latest information technology-based solutions by encouraging young people to engage experimentally in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Sixteen women experts were involved in the ‘Sathi’ device manufacturing team prepared to identify problems in the agricultural sector.
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