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Plant Pathology : Pest and disease forecast released by TNAU for farmers

In Tamil Nadu the risk of pest attacks and diseases in agricultural crops has increased. The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University released a forecast to help farmers to adopt preventive measures to save crops and prevent loss in yield.

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Greeshma, a new Plant Pathology App for farmers

The proliferation of affordable smartphones in the market and its ever increasing user base, especially among farmers, has prompted a senior agricultural scientist to develop an android application on farming.

M. Reddi Kumar, Plant Pathologist at the Regional Agricultural Research Station's (RARS) Institute of Frontier Technology, developed an android application, Greeshma, which highlights various diseases affecting the crops and the measures to control them.

The app, which would be released in a few days, can work offline and is available free of cost. Speaking to The Hindu, Dr. Kumar maintained that the app would not only specify the diseases affecting the crops but also indicate the changes in various stages of crop growth.

“We have included the information about five major crops in Andhra Pradesh such as groundnut, paddy, sugarcane, sunflower and maize. Besides this, we have also incorporated details about 'Mushroom Cultivation' as several farmers are growing them on a small scale and cottage industries,” he added.

Further elucidating on the functioning of the app, Dr. Kumar said that there were provisions indicating the usage of pesticides, including dosage and other procedures for applying it to a particular crop. “Our main motto was to help the farmers identify the plant disease and take necessary action. It will also be helpful to agricultural officers, agricultural extension officers and students, due to its role as a repository,” he explained.

Dr. Kumar's tryst with android app development began with a six month online course, before coming up with the idea of Greeshma App. “It (app) is currently undergoing quality check process and other procedures, and will be available as a free download in another few days,” he said. In a bid to bring awareness about the new development, Dr. Kumar said that they would organise training programmes for agricultural officers from various departments and subsequently to the end users i.e., farmers.

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