Zambian agritech startup leverages AI to detect plant and animal disease

Zambian agritech startup leverages AI to detect plant and animal disease

Zambia based agritech startup, Agripredict, is leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) as risk management tools to enable farmers in the country to detect plant and animal disease.

Launched in 2016 Agripredict, sought to alleviate agriculture related challenges faced by farmers in Zambia and help them produce increased yields.

As the high cost of training models and data posed technical challenges for Agripredict, the company had to look for affordable options that could boost and sustain their operations.

In a statement, Mwiza Simbeye, machine learning engineer at Agripredict said, “We opted for AWS because even then it was affordable, scalable and its accessibility was second to none. As a start-up, we also received the value of one-year credits from AWS. This set the course for an astounding first year.”

The AI and ML technologies used by Agripredict, allows for the remote automatic diagnosis of plants and animals through an image system. It also has options for treatment if required, and the location of the agro-dealer nearest to that farmer.

Simbeye explains that, “We can achieve this because of AWS’s Sagemaker, EC2, Lambda, RDS, Amplify products. Our website is easily deployed via Amplify and we train our machine learning models by utilising Sage Maker, which then puts the models into production.”

With increased efficiency, the company is able to deliver services to more people while keeping costs low and accessible.

Agripredict services are also available on feature phones and smartphones and in addition, should any issues arise, the company says AWS provides a timely response and the service is online up to 99.9% of the time.

This allows the company to deploy its products speedily and at the same time train accurate machine learning models that meet industry standards for image classification.

“We are enabling local farmers to yield better produce via our AI and machine learning capabilities, which are accessible via AWS,” concludes Simbeye.