Croppie – the PhotoCropping app

The Croppie app is a mobile application developed by the Alliance Bioversity - CIAT, designed to assist smallholder farmers in making informed decisions about crop management. It provides farmers with information and recommendations on various aspects like crop selection, planting techniques, fertilizer application, and pest management. The app uses data from field trials and scientific research to offer personalized advice to farmers based on their specific location and crop preferences. It aims to improve agricultural productivity, sustainability, and livelihoods for smallholder farmers.

Scientific approaches to farm agronomy have greatly increased global yields, yet high data collection costs have primarily driven insights and benefits for commercial actors focused on larger-scale agricultural systems. The benefits of big data and AI remain largely inaccessible to the world’s 500 million smallholders, who typically manage significant socio-economic and climatic risks with little to no access to external data. Furthermore, COVID-19 has exacerbated the need for standardized, efficient, and reliable data collection to support yield estimates. 

With the development of the Croppie app, farmers will be able to gamify real-time crop yield data collection, encouraging smallholders, particularly youth, to generate massive datasets for AI models (PhotoCropping). Simultaneously, Croppie aims to provide clear, actionable yield predictions for smallholders, where AI picture classification is proven to provide reliable yield data.

Croppie was winner of the CGIAR Inspire Challenge 2020.

In what context is this tool useful?

The Croppie app is useful in the context of smallholder agriculture. It specifically targets small-scale farmers who may have limited access to resources, information, and technology. The app is designed to be user-friendly and accessible to farmers with basic smartphone capabilities.

This tool is particularly valuable for farmers who want to enhance their crop management practices. By providing localized recommendations based on scientific research and field trials, the app helps farmers make informed decisions regarding crop selection, planting techniques, fertilizer use, and pest management.

Additionally, the Croppie app can assist farmers in optimizing their resources and improving their productivity. It aims to support sustainable agriculture by promoting practices that reduce environmental impacts while increasing yields.

Overall, this tool serves as a practical resource for smallholder farmers seeking guidance on crop management practices customized to their specific needs and conditions.

Expected Results

The use of the Croppie app is expected to achieve several positive outcomes for smallholder farmers. Here are some of the potential results:

1. Improved crop management: The app provides farmers with personalized recommendations and information on best practices for crop selection, planting techniques, fertilizer application, and pest management. By following these guidelines, farmers can enhance their crop management skills and potentially increase their yields.

2. Increased productivity: By adopting improved agricultural practices suggested by the app, farmers may be able to optimize their resources and increase their productivity. This can help them produce more crops on their land and potentially improve their income.

3. Sustainable agriculture: The app promotes sustainable agriculture by offering advice on environmentally friendly practices that reduce resource use, minimize chemical inputs, and mitigate negative impacts on ecosystems. Through sustainable practices, farmers can contribute to environmental conservation while maintaining or improving their yields.

4. Accessible knowledge: The Croppie app bridges the knowledge gap for smallholder farmers who may have limited access to information or extension services. It delivers localized recommendations based on scientific research directly to farmers' smartphones, making valuable agricultural knowledge accessible to a wider audience.

5. Empowered decision-making: By providing data-driven recommendations tailored to specific locations and crop preferences, the app empowers farmers in making informed decisions about their farming operations. This can lead to increased confidence in implementing new techniques or adopting changes in farming methods.

It's important to note that the actual results achieved may vary depending on various factors such as local conditions, farmer adoption rates, availability of resources like seeds and fertilizers, as well as external factors like weather patterns or market dynamics.