On March 28, 2018, Feed the Future and its partners, Land O’Lakes International Development and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research launched the Fall Armyworm Tech Prize. The prize received more than 225 applications from across the world, 81% of which were from the African continent.
Among many high quality applications, our Judging Panel selected 20 finalists from Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Taiwan, Israel, South Africa, Kenya, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Find out more about our finalists below:
Note: the following digital tools and approaches will be tested and implemented in various African countries.
"Boa Me" is an artificial intelligence-powered, web-based application with a predictive analysis algorithm that provides actionable insights to users. The app combines past data, satellite data, and user information about fall armyworm and translates it into insights that farmers can access through local voice systems, SMS alerts, or a public announcement system.
myAgro provides a digital payment platform enabling farmers to use their mobile phones to pay incrementally for fall armyworm specific training, seeds, and other products, which help farmers to prepare and better deal with fall armyworm attacks on their crops.
Africa Rising is a multi-faceted platform that helps farmers understand when outbreaks of fall armyworm might occur, provides advice on best practices, and directly answers farmers’ questions. This is a two-way communication network utilizing chatbots to deliver SMS, interactive voice recordings (IVR), or messages through other popular communications tools such as WhatsApp.
AfriFARM is a mobile phone application designed to facilitate education, monitoring, and safe and effective responses to the threat of fall armyworm. The app will provide learning modules tailored to the needs and capabilities of its target audience on topics such as forecasting, scouting, and treatment options.
Agri-Poll is a smart survey platform that allows extension workers and key stakeholders to gather, analyze, and disseminate images (of pests and crops), location, time, weather, and environments in which the pests have been detected via feature phones, smart phones, and web platforms. The information is analyzed to aggregate and provide actionable information.
Saillog is developing a digital monitoring system enabled by an app that leverages and deploys artificial intelligence to provide diagnoses and generate warning alerts for fall armyworm outbreaks based on geographical spread and forecasting models.
Arris Technologies is developing a monitoring solution using solar-powered LED lure, intelligent cameras, and a convolutional neural network to detect and alert central pest management authorities and local farmers via SMS of fall armyworm outbreaks.
CdPAS Mobile combines innovative digital technologies and participatory engagements of stakeholders to predict, identify, monitor, and mitigate the outbreak of fall armyworm across Africa, providing crop disease prediction and advisory services on any mobile phone. Education and awareness through interactive voice response (IVR) messaging in local languages is an important feature of this solution.
CornBot is a maize disease diagnostic tool using image-based interactive mechanisms in local languages to help farmers identify, track, map, and treat fall armyworm. It's an everyday virtual assistant for sustainable maize production.
Digicult is a digital platform using mobile communication devices, multimedia processing, and crowdsourcing to effectively help farmers prevent and fight fall armyworm. Digicult provides digital training modules for farmers and uses crowdsourcing to find agents with suitable mobile devices who can support farmers who do not have access to advanced devices. Digicult analyzes and shares fall armyworm data from interactions between the platform and farmers, providing visualization maps for government and other entities to assess the endangered regions.
The EzyArmyWorm (EAW) is an enhancement of the pest and disease diagnostic in the EzyAgric app, using proprietary artificial intelligence. EAW allows smallholder farmers to detect the moth, larva, and eggs of fall armyworm across all possible affected crops. EAW can differentiate fall armyworm from other pests, establish the stage of maturity, and share the estimated yield damage.
Fall Armyworm Identification, Verification and Mitigation is a technology-based solution that employs drones, user-friendly mobile technology, and databases/maps, which, together can properly identify fall armyworm and provide appropriate treatment options. An initial notification sent via USSD/SMS from a farmer will trigger a nearby extension officer to visit the farm to assist within 24 hours.
The Africa Farmers Club (AFC) is a digital community of more than 150,000 farmers across Africa. The digital service will include: 1) a personalised fall armyworm farm-risk assessment; 2) weekly bite-sized topic guides to educate and inform on fall armyworm; and 3) a service to connect with expert advice and group discussions. For at-risk users, the service will also include frequent reminders to monitor and report instances of fall armyworm and a personalised treatment plan if detected.
The FarmSmart Pest and Disease (PAD) app is a mobile app that farmers and farm supervisors can use to take pictures of diseased or ravaged plants. It sends these images to the back-end, where artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms bring up suggestions of what the issue might be from a database containing similar cases, including suggestions for possible interventions. PAD also taps into expertise from researchers, manufacturers, and financial institutions—to enable rapid response.
LEA is a simple digital app designed—after extensive research and consultation with farmers—to work both online and offline. The user will use the app to take a picture of the diseased plant. The app will then instantly identify whether the problem is fall armyworm, the stage of growth, and extent of crop damage, then give treatment options and approved pesticides with their genuine suppliers. LEA can be used by farmers directly who can operate smartphones or through extension workers and model farmers.
Locsmman Pro/OFES is a web and mobile application that has been developed by Henson Geodata Technologies and its partners, enabling early detection and notification of fall armyworm to a control center via video, image or voice, with geolocation. The call center instantly connects all notifications to a pool of experts, including entomologists, pathologists, agronomists, and extension officers, who are able to analyze and recommend appropriate responses. Farmers are able to access audio-visual information and apply recommendations from these experts.
Shape Up Against Armyworm provides up-to-date information weekly on fall armyworm through the Shamba Shape Up (SSup) TV/Radio series. These two- to three-minute messages will reach an audience of 4 million to mitigate against fall armyworm. The SSup Media series will provide updates and map locations of at-risk areas, recommended practices for control, access to inputs, and links to further information, especially via the iShamba mobile call centre and SMS services.
UDefeatFAW incorporates interactive radio and SMS/interactive voice response (IVR) for two-way communication with smallholder farmers on pesticides, the first defense in managing fall armyworm. UDefeatFAW will drive farmers to other technology platforms; shift social norms; build skills; deliver vouchers for appropriate, affordable pesticides; and direct farmers to services and support, such as interactions with agricultural extension workers at demonstration plots.
WeFAW is a monitoring, early warning, and response system developed by Mercy Corps, Wefarm, and three other key partners. The platform will both share information with farmers, as well as gather data and insights from them. Combining these with remote sensing and other data sources, WeFAW will continue to develop its algorithms to enhance its detection, prevention, and expert advice capabilities on the fall armyworm.
Zaois-Tech is a three-tier networking approach involving farmers, extension officers, and government whose interactions are governed by an integrated, online-based portal to gather, store, analyze, and disseminate information to support action against fall armyworm.