23 March 2023, Africa: The Crop App Index website helps users to find the plant-health apps and websites they need to answer their crop pest and disease questions. CABI recently added a further 200 websites and apps to the search tool. It now features over 750 different plant-health-related platforms to support decision-making.
The Crop App Index came about when CABI embarked on an analysis to discover existing digital tools supporting decision-making in crop production. The team identified and catalogued different plant-health apps and websites. They also logged additional information including the category, languages and crop specificity.
Developing the Crop App Index
This landscaping analysis highlighted some of the difficulties encountered when searching for apps in online app stores. The issues often relate to the large number of apps available. This can make it difficult to narrow down results to those apps relating to the subject you’re interested in, even when using keyword searches. These limitations gave rise to the concept of the Crop App Index website.
The Crop App Index makes it easier for extension workers, agro-input dealers and other users to find the plant-health apps and information they need. The 754 tools listed on the Crop App Index are all searchable. Results can be filtered by category including fertilizer recommendations, scouting, knowledge delivery and identification. The results returned give information on the websites and apps. In addition, they provide information on languages supported, country and crop focus, helping users to find exactly what they need.
Plant-health apps for farmer advisors
CABI’s PlantwisePlus programme, which supported the development of the Crop App Index, is working to deliver digital advisory tools that boost sustainable agriculture and improve the capacity of public and private actors who support smallholder farmers to diagnose crop health problems and recommend sustainable solutions. The programme’s aim is to increase access to intuitive decision support tools and to information that can enable advisors and farmers to make more informed decisions.
Extension and advisory services are important for communicating science-based solutions with communities. They are often the bridge between scientific research and the farmer, providing actionable information on crop health, including pest and disease diagnosis and management recommendations. As a result, agricultural extension workers are key to stimulating agricultural production.
However, having access to current, relevant information is vital if farmers are to receive the best advice. There are thousands of digital support tools (mobile apps and web-based applications) available to assist in crop production, however, the sheer number of tools can make it difficult to find necessary information quickly.
Crop App Index tool updates
The Crop App Index website helps extension workers and agro-input dealers with appropriate information transfer, as well as making it easier for farmers to find plant-health apps for specific crop problems. It is particularly useful for those looking for a tool aimed at a specific country or crop.
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