Tumaini – which means “hope” in Swahili – is a smartphone app that helps banana farmers scan plants for signs of five major diseases and one common pest. Farmers use the app to upload a photo of an affected crop, which is then scanned for symptoms of pests and diseases using image-recognition technology, drawing on a dataset of more than 50,000 images. Tumaini records the data, including geographic location, and feeds it into the database. The app then provides a diagnosis and recommends steps to address the affliction.

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Terms of use

Tumaini Mobile App

In what context is this tool useful?

Tumaini app helps extension staff and banana farmers to correctly identify banana diseases, and improve disease surveillance and management.

Tumaini app is a crop disease detection tool that can detect symptoms on any part of the crop – including the fruit, bunch or plant – and can read low-quality images, even those containing background noise, like other plants or leaves, to maximize accuracy. Once the pest or disease afflicting a crop is identified, swift and targeted action can reduce the extent of outbreaks and potentially save entire harvests.

Tumaini is available in English, Spanish, French, Tamil and Swahili.

Results achieved

Tested in Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Benin, China, and Uganda, the Tumaini app has so far demonstrated a 90% success rate in detecting pests and diseases. To date, some 3,000 farmers are using the app in the field, with numbers climbing after a second version released in 2020 allowed for offline use. 

The work is a step toward creating a satellite-powered, globally connected network to control disease and pest outbreaks, say the researchers who developed the technology.

Research on the app was published in 2019 in the journal Plant Methods and became one of the year’s most successful research papers for Bioversity International and CIAT. It also generated significant media attention and sparked inquiries from industry stakeholders regarding possibilities to expand the use of the app.

The most impactful metrics on the Tumaini app are:

  1. Tumaini has over 5000 thousand downloads in the google playstore
  2. According to the Mean value, the number of users increase by approximately 6.5 everyday
  3. The top 3 countries with the most Tumaini Users are India, Ecuador, and Malasia
  4. Between November 2020 and May 2021, Tumaini has on average 991 active users per month. This means that in a 28 day period, on average 991 users opened the app at least once.
  5. Most of our users are running the app on some android version between android 7.0 and 12.0 this shows that are app is compatible with both older and the most recent android versions.