My name is Omotoso Olawale Stephen, 23, a savvy enthusiast for technology. I’m a software developer who is becoming a “go-to person” for developing software solutions to solve the vast problems in agriculture.
I studied biochemistry at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo state. I hail from Ekiti State in Nigeria, a part of the country where the major occupation is farming.
I served in leadership roles during my tenure as the financial secretary of the Nigerian Society of Biochemistry Students, FUTA Chapter, and have gained experience in planning and directing executive-level administrative affairs. This work demanded combining planning, organizational and communications skills with the ability to independently plan and direct high-level business affairs.
I’m an analytical, intelligent, organized and resourceful individual who is recognized as a consummate team player and innovative problem solver. I am a quick study who seeks and enjoys new challenges and excels at exceeding established objectives, is highly flexible, and reacts quickly and effectively to corporate changes and challenges.
While studying Biochemistry as an undergraduate, I became fascinated by the scope and application of biochemistry to agriculture, including development and exploitation of better genotypes, post- harvest physiology of fruit crops and vegetables, nutritional quality, biochemistry of disease and pest resistance and developments in the field of inter-mediatory metabolism, i.e. synthesis and degradation of the constituents of living tissues.
These aspects of biochemistry inspired my interest in solution-driven projects so that I could exploreg and deploy my knowledge in the aforementioned areas using software technology.
Due to my family background, I have always been close to the farms and farmers, which made me take note of the great threat posed by plant diseases to reliable and increased production of foods.
The accurate detection and diagnosis of the various diseases affecting plants at an early stage is an important factors in increasing both qualitative and quantitative crop yield. So many farmers do random guessing of diseases based on their experience and the experiences and opinions of other farmers around them.
This obsolete way of diagnosing plant diseases usually results in greater losses for the farmer when a disease is mistaken for another and the wrong cure is applied. In light of this problem, it is important for farmers to possess an effective and sustainable disease diagnostic technique that is easily accessible to them.
I propose CropVee, a comprehensive mobile database app aimed at helping farmers diagnose and identify various diseases affecting their plants simply by taking a picture of the affected parts.
The mobile app uses image processing through pixel comparison to find similar-looking diseases on the affected parts of the plant and generates possible options for treatment of the identified diseases. The app will also include the option to contact a team of experts for consultation and further research on the diseases of concern.
The mobile app will be a cross-platform app with an aggressive app marketing plan. It will be made available for download at all the different mobile app stores, which tackles the need for an easily accessible solution for any kind of mobile user (i.e. windows, iPhone or android users). It will generate income through a subscription-based model in which users are requested to subscribe for the continuous use of the app after a trial period of 10 days.
During the trial period, users are able to access all the features of the app excluding the option to consult a team of experts. The creation of this app, its creative marketing and its availability to farmers gives an assurance of a more effective means of controlling plant diseases. The mobile app will be made easily accessible for small-scale farmers, large-scale farmers and research institutes to make plant disease diagnosis an easy task.
The steps involved in developing and perfecting CropVee include the careful compilation and digitization of a comprehensive database on existing plant diseases and the subsequent integration of the database into the mobile app. The mobile app is then developed, tested and made available on the different mobile app platforms.
As an alumnus of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, I’ve been able to speak with several educational experts and students in this field who want to practice and are interested in dealing with real-life challenges with hands-on solutions. I have also spoken with staff of the cocoa processing industry in Akure, Ondo State Nigeria, to understand the challenges faced by this sector and the particular problem resulting from plant diseases. They have agreed to help with the comprehensive compilation of the required data.
The success of CropVee will be measured by the availability of the app on the different mobile app stores and the total number of downloads. I also plan to use Google Analytics to measure interest generated by the online marketing campaign platforms. I plan to leverage the network of young agro-entrepreneurs and farmers, organic farm organizations, Springboard Nigeria and the Youth Coalition for Grassroots Development to market the app directly to prospective users.
The USD $5000 will be budgeted as follows:
USD $1000 will be payment to professionals and assistants for the compilation and digitalization of a comprehensive database of known plant diseases for a duration of two months.
The development and distribution of the mobile app to the different mobile app stores (which will also take two months) will cost a sum of USD $1500.
Marketing the mobile app through different marketing channels such as social media related campaigns, google search and display network ads like site posters, banners and video animations will cost USD $1200 over a period of 12 months (averaging US $100 per month).
USD $700 will be spent on business name registration.
The remaining USD $800 will be set aside for operational cost such as transport, internet services and other miscellaneous costs.
Due to the nature of this product, operations can be carried out from my home and as such will not require renting an office. The development of the functioning and fully tested mobile app will be complete and available for downloads at the different app stores at the end of 5 months.
CropVee is a great way to improve agricultural productivity and above all, inspire more youth to get into agriculture. The introduction of information and communication technology into agriculture will inspire and encourage youth in agriculture due to the fast and easily accessible means of diagnosing plant diseases.
In my experience with youth who are interested in going into agriculture, they are usually discouraged with the old, manual, slow and stressful means of dealing with farming problems. I believe that this project will help inspire youth in agriculture.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Stephen Olawale (Ekiti, Nigeria) – omotosoolawale16[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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