UAE’s ICBA unveils beta version of AI-powered mobile app to help farmers

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Desk Reporter
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UAE-based non-profit agricultural research center, International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) has displayed the beta version of an AI-powered mobile app for detecting plant disorders to agricultural researchers and specialists from the public and private sector organizations in the Emirates.

Organized under the project titled “Developing a user-friendly mobile application for smallholder farmers to detect plant disorders”, the workshop was conducted by scientists from ICBA and the University of Barcelona, Spain.

The project currently targets farmers in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and the UAE. The mobile app will be available in more countries later. It is also being customized for each country, and the final version will be available in three languages and they are Arabic, English, and French.

Dr. Jose Luis Araus, Professor of Plant Physiology at the University of Barcelona, Spain commented, “ICBA and the University of Barcelona have been collaborating for the last six years to develop monitoring techniques to allow more efficient saline agriculture for different species, including date palm, quinoa, Salicornia, and cereals.”

Dr. Tarifa Alzaabi
Dr. Tarifa Alzaabi
Acting Director General – ICBA

“We are delighted to showcase the beta version of this mobile app in the UAE – a country which is at the forefront of innovation in different sectors, including agriculture. The development of the mobile app is aligned with our research focus on data-driven agriculture and the use of artificial intelligence to improve farming. Currently, we have a number of projects focused on using drones, the internet of things, and smart systems. We hope that once the mobile app is released in the UAE and other countries, it will help agricultural researchers, specialists, and farmers to detect plant disorders at early stages and thus take necessary actions to minimize yield losses.”

“Estimates show that annual crop losses due to pests and diseases range between 20 percent and 40 percent, undermining rural livelihoods, national economies, and food security. Therefore, intelligent systems like the mobile app that we are developing with our partners at the University of Barcelona can help farmers make prompt diagnoses and facilitate an effective response to plant diseases and pest attacks at their early stages,” remarked Dr. Henda Mahmoudi, Plant Physiologist at ICBA.

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