16 February 2022, Africa: CABI has today launched a new product – the Crop App Index – aimed at paving the way for a smoother route to existing agricultural decision support tools to help navigate issues related to plant health.
The free to access Crop App Index has been developed by CABI as part of its PlantwisePlus programme which aims to improve livelihoods by supporting the production of safer, higher quality food through sustainable approaches to crop production.
The newly launched website provides a filterable catalogue of existing crop health related mobile apps and websites along with information on their content and a link to the website or app store. Categories by which users, including Plantwise plant doctors, other extension workers, farmers agro-dealers, and other stakeholders, can search the Crop App Index include identification of plant pests and diseases, fertilizer recommendations, scouting and market access.
Digital tools are very useful in agricultural extension and advisory services and in providing relevant information to farmers and agricultural service providers. The Crop App Index will make it easier for users to access key information, such as pesticide options and pesticide calculators.
Better search capability
Dr Rob Reeder, PlantwisePlus Programme Support Manager, said, “There are hundreds of digital support tools – apps or web-based applications – available to assist in crop production but have previously been hard to find and not easy to search in one central place.
“CABI carried out a landscaping analysis of these tools and this work highlighted the difficulties encountered when searching for these kinds of tools, in particular, the narrowing of search results to just those related to crop production in the App stores.
“Both Google and Apple allow for filters to narrow results, however these filters are generic and are not related to crop production. This highlighted the need for better ways to search for crop production apps and led to the development of the Crop App Index website.”
Many products available
The Crop App Index is just one of many products available from CABI Publishing that also include the CABI BioProtection Portal – a free tool to enhance the awareness and uptake of biocontrol and biopesticide products by growers and advisors – and the Plantwise Knowledge Bank which provides an open access extensive global coverage of pests, diseases, weeds and their natural enemies, the crops that are their hosts, and the countries in which they occur.