The James Hutton Institute has just launched Buntata, a free Android app to help potato growers identify plant pests and diseases in the field.
Produced by the Institute with support from the University of St Andrews Impact Accelerator Award and named after the Scottish Gaelic word for potato, Buntata is flexible enough to be used even without mobile coverage.
Through downloadable datasets, the app helps identify potato pests and diseases easily and suggests further resources for growers to consult if they want to confirm the diagnosis, according to the James Hutton Institute.
Professor Lesley Torrance, director of science at the institute and member of the Buntata development team, said: “The motivation for creating Buntata is to address the specific needs of smallholder potato farmers in Africa who have limited resources.
“There is no need to have prior knowledge of the pest, disease or other disorder as the app is designed to allow the farmer to match the symptoms of their potato plant or pest to symptoms in the database and it is mobile enough to be deployed in the field.
“Buntata is a collaborative effort between the University of St Andrews and the James Hutton Institute to enable open access to our information resources and put them at the fingertips of potato growers. Although developed for potato, the Buntata format can be applied to other crops.”
Buntata can be downloaded from Google Play at play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.ac.hutton.ics.buntata.
More information about the app is available from the James Hutton Institute’s Information and Computational Sciences group website at ics.hutton.ac.uk/get-buntata.