ZARI develops a pest diagnosis App

(NAIS) The Zambia Agriculture Research Institute -ZARI- with financial support from The United States Agency for International Development -USAID- has developed an application aimed at diagnosing crop pests and diseases.

The PlantVillage application is used for monitoring, forecasting and mitigating effects of climate change on pests and diseases in maize, cassava and sweet potato in Zambia.

About 150 million United States dollars is lost every year among cassava farmers due to Cassava Mosaic and Cassava Brown Streak Diseases.

Speaking during the launch of the upscaling of the PlantVillage Application, Agriculture permanent Secretary Technical Services JOHN MULONGOTI said the application will enhance the timely surveillance and control of plant pests and diseases in maize, cassava and sweet potato.

Mr. MULONGOTI explained that the free application will intensify the provision of extension and advisory services and build climate resilience among smallholder farmers.

And ZARI Director DICKSON NGUNI said the institute remains committed to helping smallholder farmers adapt to climate change through promotion of various agricultural technologies.

Meanwhile, PlantVillage Principle investigator MATHIAS TEMBO indicated that about 100, 000 US dollar project targets to benefit 10,000 farmers in the first phase.

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