Wednesday, June 20, 2012

App to gauge rice crop health via phone image wins award

The leaf color chart, developed by IRRI, was the basis for
a smartphone app developed by Filipino students.

A mobile phone application that allows a user to check rice crop quality through a smartphone image has won the 2012 SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards, hosted by Smart Communications, Inc., in the Philippines.

The innovation is based on the leaf color chart (LCC) developed by IRRI in partnership with the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in 2004.

The LCC features 4 colored panels, ranging from dark to light green, that extension officers or farmers can use as an index to measure the nutrient status and quality of rice leaves. In essence, it helps users determine the amount of nitrogen needed by a crop for maximum yield.

The LCC-based mobile application, which won the grand prize of Php 100,000 (about USD 2,400) in this year's SMART SWEEP awards, was developed by students from the Bataan Peninsula State University

The mobile phone application uses both the features of a smartphone and internet connectivity. It consists of a program that detects and analyzes the color of rice leaves using input from a smartphone camera. Upon assessment of the image, the application will display a report of any significant deficiencies and provide suggestions to improve the quality of the rice crop.

"It's very refreshing and inspiring to see innovations like these, and I'm glad that younger Filipinos today find themselves looking for solutions that could help address problems, or simply jumpstart progress, in our agricultural sector," says Bruce Tolentino, deputy director general for communications and partnerships at IRRI.

Dr. Tolentino congratulated the team that developed the LCC-based application, composed of Maria Crizele de Jesus, Alejandro Garcia, Jr., Jun Alvin Galang, Jairus Fernando, and McJefren QuiƱones.

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