Farming can be a tough business, especially when you do not have all the facts. Now an Israeli company has designed an app to help keep farmers more informed.
Powered by crowdsourcing, the ScanTask’s AgriTask app lets farmers view information about infestations, weather or other farming-related issues reported directly by agriculturalists in the field.
Using an Instagram-like platform, farmers can also upload their own data, helping others know of a potential problem before it strikes their farm.
Calling it the “Waze of Agriculture,” ScanTask founder Israel Fraier explained, “What we are doing with this app is to transform this industry into a manageable business.” He added that with more information, costly crop failures and farming mistakes can more easily be avoided, helping farmers grow more and better profit from their land.
The app can also help reduce the use of pesticides by giving farmers more specific information about the types of infestations they are likely to face.
“They have all kinds of adaptive systems responding to the environment and you [as a farmer] have to take into account those adaptations,” Fraier pointed out, stressing that without the information they need, farmers often over-treat their plants to avoid losing valuable crops or apply pesticides blindly, damaging the environment and sometimes their plants.
Eventually, the app can also be used by governments to help farmers in their countries get the resources to better adapt to their specific needs.
“If a government sees that the region’s parameters are excellent to produce an export crop, but it has no means of irrigation, the government can directly subsidize the construction of an irrigation system,” he said, pointing out that this is especially important in agricultural-dependent countries in South America and Africa.
Designed in 2008, the app has already been used in Israel, Brazil and a handful of other countries, but Fraier believes the app can be used worldwide to help to improve crop yields and reduce hunger worldwide, especially among farmers in the developing world.