SPIDTECH, an app that collects data from users to analyse and create a map showing the distribution of pests and plant diseases in different parts of the Philippines, includes remote monitoring. This feature is valuable as it facilitates data collection on pests and diseases.

We found the app on the Google Play store with the following description: Smarter Pest and Disease Identification Technology (SPIDTECH) is an application developed under project SARAI (Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry). This aims to help in the monitoring of pests and diseases in the Philippines using digital pest and disease identification to agricultural workers

Unfortunately, it was last updated a year ago, in August 2021, and we hope the project is being kept alive, as this kind of simple solution can be beneficial for farmers.

  • Destruction of crops by pests and diseases is one of the main problems faced by cocoa and coffee farmers. It is a challenge to maintain agricultural yields because there are so many factors to consider. Many do not have the opportunity to seek advice from experts who can explain what kind of pests they face and how to deal with them.
  • With this app, researchers at the University of the Philippines Los Baños want to make knowledge about pest control more accessible to farmers with the help of a smartphone application.
  • Currently only available in the Philippines, the developers hope to release a version in the US soon. It works by using the camera on your phone, which matches the images against a database of known pests, and then offers advice on what steps to take.
  • In case no photo is available, it will invite the user to answer some questions to find the matching pest or disease
  • Consumer apps exist that help people manage their houseplants. I’ve used them in the past with mixed success, but the concept is sound.
  • Created by researchers from UP Los Baños, the SPIDTECH smartphone app could be a valuable addition for farmers with limited access to expert advice.
  • If the developers collect information about where pests are appearing, this information could be useful in forming a wide response strategy.

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