Cropwatch Africa, a specialised service provider that focusses on supporting farmers, researchers, industries, and governments across Africa to safeguard their resources, has developed an app that aims to provide detailed information on outbreaks. Called Biosecurity Africa, the app – which the public can use, researchers, farmers, and industry – is an easy and effective way to submit pest and disease sightings.
Cropwatch Africa owner, Roedolf Nieuwenhuis, said the app, which is available on Android, iOS, and Huawei app stores free of charge, allows you to instantly report sightings to your country’s specific national plant protection office (NPPO) for accurate decision-making and rapid response to outbreaks. Everyone can help map pests, diseases, and migratory pests by using their phones. GPS co-ordinates are captured automatically, and you can record sightings in online or offline mode. You can even move and place a marker on a map at a different location if you had a sighting but could not capture it in the field.
Using the Biosecurity Africa app, you will be supporting your local community and providing valuable information to local and national government on pest, disease, or migratory outbreaks. This is an important step in managing and monitoring invasive species, stopping disease outbreaks, and tracking migratory patterns across Africa.
Government inspectors and extension staff can use the application for their daily tasks when doing field visits and trap surveys. The information can be communicated directly to relevant role-players, industry, and farmers through the alerts function. Once government has confirmed an outbreak, alerts are sent out on the mobile app to inform users to be on the lookout. In addition, best practices, registered chemicals and the safe use thereof can be communicated to farmers in real-time.