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Faculty Member of Department of Information Technology Leads A Team of Researchers to Develop an Artificial Intelligence Application to Detect Pests and Diseases of Crops and Its Control

A Senior Lecturer at the Department of Computer Science and Informatics Patrick Kwabena Mensah (PhD) is leading a Team of Researchers to develop an Artificial Intelligence (AI) application to detect pests and diseases of crops and its eventual control.

The Project grant, worth $49, 000 would allow the Researchers to invent a mobile application with artificial intelligence features in detecting diseases of four crops; maize, cassava, cashew and tomatoes. The project, which is currently in its developmental phase, is funded by Kenya-based International Development Research Centre with funds sourced from Canada.

According to Dr. Mensah, the Principal Project investigator, the project which was in its sixth month is expected to be completed 18 months after which the farmers would be trained on its application. He clearly outlined the mode of its application. He said images of healthy and diseased parts of four selected crops was to be taken and prepared as an artificial intelligent model. This would be developed into a mobile application and installed on Android and iPhone Operating Systems (iOS). With the mobile phone, farmers who detect an infected crop or a crop with an unusual appearance, would then take a photograph of the infected section. The application would identify the disease by damaging the crop which provides an ecologically friendly solution in controlling the specific disease.

According to Dr. Mensah, the research team has discovered that most farmers do not have smartphones or computers, so as part of their initiative, an “e-kiosk” was to be set up in five towns during the piloting phase. According to him, each “e-kiosk” would be stocked with a computer and a cell phone, as well as an attendant to assist farmers on the usage of the application in detecting affected crops.

Membership of the Research Team comprises; Isaac K. Nti (PhD),Owusu Nyarko-Boateng (PhD), Samuel Boateng (PhD), Peter Nimbe (PhD), Kwabena Adu (PhD),  Esther Fobi Donkor (PhD), Ms Mighty Abra Ayidzoe, Nicodemus Songose Awarayi, Ms Faiza Umar Bawah and Ms. Vivian Akoto-Adjepong. They are all integral faculty members of the Department of Computer Science and Informatics with  Mr. Suweidu Abdulai and Mr. Francis Ata Amponsah , from Ghana Developing Communities Association and, Digilect System respectively adding to the team .

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