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Integrated AI, Internet of Things (IoT) and a Swahili Chatbot: Agri-Tech Solution for Early Disease Detection on Maize

Theofrida Maginga of the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania will develop a ChatGPT-powered Swahili chatbot for smallholder farmers with limited literacy and scarce resources in Tanzania to detect crop diseases quickly and easily. Maize is one of the most important crops in Tanzania and generates up to 50% of rural cash income. Several diseases that afflict maize are hard to detect visually, leading to substantial losses in crop productivity and income. They will integrate AI with Internet of Things (IoT) technologies that use non-invasive sensors to monitor the non-visual early indicators of diseases, including volatile organic compounds, ultrasound movements, and soil nutrient uptake. They will also develop and integrate a Swahili chatbot to interact with farmers in their local language in a culturally-sensitive manner and perform model validation and field testing.

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