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ILRI and Farm Ink ‘Facebook project’ to track livestock diseases in Kenya among five winners of research grants

ILRI animal geneticist and program leader Steve Kemp (left) and Farm Inks’s Georgia Barrie and Adam Wills (left) stand with other winners of research grants provided by the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture.

The CGIAR Platform on Big Data in Agriculture has awarded five research proposals USD100,000 each during its inaugural convention 19–22 Sep 2017.

Using Facebook to track the spread of livestock diseases and your smartphone to diagnose crop diseases in realtime, could soon be a reality thanks to a series of research grants awarded by the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture.

‘These are among five projects awarded USD$100K to develop game changing approaches to tackling entrenched agricultural problems affecting producers in developing countries. Winners were announced during the Big Data in Agriculture Convention 2017, at CIAT headquarters in Colombia, recently.

‘The 2017 Inspire Challenge grant winners and their projects are:

‘Dave Hodson in partnership with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), and the John Innes Centre
‘Real Time Diagnostics for Wheat Rust: Use of mobile gene sequencers to drastically cut diagnosis time, resulting in faster treatment of devastating wheat rust pathogens in Ethiopia.

‘Alise Dykstra, David Guerena & James Legg in a partnership with VOTO Mobile, International Maize and the Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
‘IVR (Interactive Voice Response) Marketing Service : Which will increase linkages between individuals in the value chain, no matter their literacy level and language, enabling farmers to report their harvest, locate product, and also connect the underemployed with work.

Adam Wills & Georgia Barrie, in partnership with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
Farm.ink: Aim to create an open-source platform, the first of its kind to use social media platform Facebook, to analyze and visualize emerging livestock disease and outbreaks and other related issues in Kenya in order to warn farmers of outbreaks.

‘David Hughes, James Legg & Kelsee Baranowski in partnership with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), International Potato Center (CIP), Bioversity International, Google, Penn State University, and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
‘Pest and disease monitoring by using AI: A mobile phone app that uses artificial intelligence to accurately diagnose  cassava diseases like brown streak and mosaic, which together are threatening the food and income security of over 30 million farmers in East and Central Africa.

‘Berber Kramer in partnership with Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International( CABI) and  International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
‘Personalized crop advice  for rural farmers: Will provide personalized agricultural advice using unprecedented methods of data collection obtained by the farmers themselves using smartphone cameras. The data will not only optimize agronomic decision-making but also significantly expedite damage assessment and insurance resolution.

‘The Inspire Challenge grants are a key part of the Platform’s activities to promote innovation in the use of big data to improve smallholder agriculture. The aim was to promote next-generation ideas to develop solutions faster, better and a greater scale than ever before.

‘More than 120 proposals were received from applicants from 37 countries, each applying under the four Inspire Challenge categories: Revealing Food Systems, Monitoring Pests and Diseases, Disrupting Impact Assessment, and Empowering Data-Driven Farming.

‘Winning proposals were required to use publicly available data to solve agricultural development problems.

“These are five fascinating projects that could really show how big data has the potential to push the limits of what’s possible and transform agricultural livelihoods in developing countries,” said CIAT’s Brian King, leader of the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture. . . .’

Read the whole article by Marianne McDade on the website of the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture: Using Big Data, smartphones & Facebook to revolutionize Ag, 9 Oct 2017.

The CGIAR Big Data in Agriculture Convention 2017: An Alliance for a Data Revolution was held at CIAT headquarters in Cali, Colombia from 19–22 Sep 2017.

The CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture is co-led by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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