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ICTs FOR PLANT DISEASE DETECTION AND DIAGNOSIS

Providing ICTs to remote and rural communities has great potential for mitigating poverty and improving the socio-economic status of the beneficiaries. To reach such objectives, the EWA-BELT Project is applying two ICT tools: PLANTHEAD and qPCR.

Planthead

The main goal of this task is to establish a remote PLANTHealth Diagnostic (PLANTHEAD) network in Eastern and Western Africa. The proposed PLANTHEAD network is based on the World Food and Health Security e-Center (HFSeC) Platform, which was first designed by OCCAM. The PLANTHEAD network will be based on the Internet of Things (IoT), wearable technologies, and mobile devices and consists of three main elements: Service (End) Users; Service Providers, and a Digital Platform. Some novelties will be introduced: a capillary diffusion in remote rural areas; the possibility to use any system: desktop, tablet, and mobile, via WEB with Smart Data Integration through images, text, and voice recognition, with geolocation; profiled users with secure access and data history tracking; web database to store any sort of information and georeferenced data entry with geo-visual data navigation; centralized data collection, validation and sharing, with user permission and restriction and workflow notification engine; integration with all external data sources, interoperability with external tools and scalable in functionalities; interoperability with IoT and intelligence services.

Country​                            Partner 

Italy

OCCAM, UNISS, ACRA, ST, UNB, INERA, UNIMAK CSIR-SARI, KDC, KALRO, UoN, NM-AIST, TARI, HU, JU

qPCR

The goal of this task is to develop a complete molecular analysis workflow, looking for mycotoxin-producing fungi in crops of interest. Molecular analyses are the most sensitive and specific techniques, but they normally require complicated and expensive equipment, as well as great competence. In EWA-BELT, the compact “Q3” device developed by STMicroelectronics (ST) will be used, which implements the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR; the gold-standard molecular analysis technique). This device allows us to easily execute molecular analyses at a lower cost, making them more feasible and affordable. To pair with this molecular device, an easy sample preparation procedure will also be developed.

Country​                           Partner                         

Italy

STMicroelectronics, UNISS,  OCCAM, UoN, and potential future involvement of other African partners

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