IS IT possible a mobile phone could one day replace an agronomist in a paddock? One startup showcased at the EvokeAG conference in Melbourne claims to have created an innovation that will, in effect, do just that.
“Any farmer with a phone will have the diagnostic capacity of an agronomist,” GoMicro chief executive officer and founder Sivam Krish told the 1300 strong audience at the ag-tech conference hosted by Agrifutures Australia.
Since emerging out of the New Venture Institute at Flinders University in South Australia, GoMicro’s leadership team has been working to raise funds to commercialise its innovations.
One of its directors is professor Rob Lewis, a former head of the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI).
Dr Lewis has described the GoMicro platform as a successful integration of key technologies including mobile, microscopy, machine learning and interpretive data analysis.
Addressing EvokeAG in Melbourne, CEO Sivam Krish said the company had reinvented a microscope for mobile phones and instilled it with patented Artificial Intelligence and algorithms.
“With this device farmers will be able to detect pests, leaf diseases and mineral deficiencies,” he said, describing it as a ‘DIY agronomy tool’.
He said the company had farmers and agronomists across Australia already using its microscopy device to visually analyse pests and plant diseases.
“We have sold 3000 of them and we have orders for many more,” he said.
“If you detect pests early we save on pesticides, if you detect weeds early, we save on herbicides, if you detect mineral deficiencies accurately we increase produce quality, and if we can increase quality we can reduce waste.”
Mr Krish said the device will in turn increase profitability across a wide range of agricultural commodities.
“We are all set to make DIY microscopy accurate, affordable and available to all.”