Module 1: Pest and Disease Management

TMP Systems has developed a tool in collaboration with Bonsucro to help farmers monitor and respond to pest and disease (P&D) outbreaks efficiently, cheaply and comprehensively. We are sharing this tool to develop support for its implementation, starting in the sugar sector. 

Crop losses in African countries due to insect pests are estimated at 49% of expected total crop yield each year, according to the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI). Losses in different crops and geographies are astronomical:

Benefit of digital P&D scouting and monitoring

  • Faster response to outbreaks of P&D’s
  • More precise location of data
  • Reduced errors made in the P&D monitoring
  • Reduction in time regarding data received from the field
  • Easier to share data with other involved
  • Improved comparisons of data over time and across locations
  • Opportunity to take pictures in the field and send to relevant persons
  • Opportunity to easily map P&D’s and scouting loactions
  • Increasing the capacity of local people and scouts, particularly around using technology

What is in the Module?

The module is made up of the following elements and is designed for farmers from small to large to pick up and use quickly and effectively:
  • P&D data collection framework
  • Training material
  • Dashboard for easy, near-real time visualization in GIS format

For access to the elements please visit the Module Material page.

This module has now been introduced at 7 sites across 6 countries in Southern and East Africa and has been implemented fully at 2 of these sites. Instantaneous reporting allows for rapid response, and efficient P&D control deployment. Users have benefited from increased output, reduced risk and easier reporting processes for the following standards:

How will the Module deliver impact?

The module could be used by any type of production system, large and small-scale, but it is most relevant to outgrowers; many mill estates have their own methodologies and database systems. However, some mill estates might also be interested in implementing the technology, feeding into their own database. These actors can benefit from the following positive impacts:

  • Optimizing of chemical application
  • Optimization of scouting staff time
  • Better informed farm management and decision making

Support needed to implement

If mills and brands/traders can support financially the relatively inexpensive installation process for this module, the module could be scaled quickly and with immediate impact. A major advantage of this P&D module over competitors is that it’s running costs are very low, it can use any Android device already in the field and that it can integrate smoothly with existing data management systems like CanePro, Planahead or similar GIS and spreadsheet based management tools. Support needed for implementation at each production site include:

  • Adapting the module to suit local conditions and requirements, particularly with regard to ease of use in-field and integrating data outputs with existing management systems
  • Using provided materials to training scouts, supervisors and the local IT manager / local IT service provider
  • Optional provision of extra hardware, like smart phone devices or tablets, to increase data collection capacity
  • Hosting workshop and any follow up visits