AI-powered platform to help UAE farmers detect crop diseases

Geospatial Data platform launched by the UAE Space Agency will help them get a report detailing the quality of the soil in their farms

by

Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Sun 3 Dec 2023, 6:41 PM

Last updated: Sun 3 Dec 2023, 7:15 PM

Farm owners in the UAE will soon be able to get a report detailing the quality of the soil in their farms, thanks to the Geospatial Data platform launched by the UAE Space Agency. The platform, which has an AI model that gives access to satellite data, will help different researchers, startups, R&D centres get access to satellite imagery.

“We have a pilot project focused on Abu Dhabi,” said Sultan Al Zeidi, Space Projects Development senior engineer at UAE Space Agency. “The satellite imagery will be examined by AI and a performance report will be given to farm owners, which will be available to them on the platform Nabat.”

The AI-powered platform Nabat was unveiled in the UAE last year by the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) to help farmers detect crop disorders. It can identify more than a dozen different crop diseases and alert farmers to it.

One-stop shop

In addition to farm reports, the platform will also offer several other services. According to Sultan, it will be a one stop shop for satellite imagery.

“The orbiting satellites are providing a large amount of data every day,” he said. “We are utilising AI computation capabilities to benefit from these satellite images and turning these raw data to applications, products and analytics reports which will all be available on one dashboard. The dashboard will give numbers, facts about the planet and other information, which will be available to the general public.”

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In addition, the app will also have a marketplace, where third party vendors are present. “There will be startups, research and development centres as well as entrepreneurs, who can use their own skill set and knowledge to develop certain algorithms or AI models,” he said. “They could then sell it or offer it to different entities through that platform.”

According to Sultan, a marketplace of this sort could enable different companies to access different applications and AI models that can aid them to further hone certain technologies they offer. He gave the example of a greenhouse gas calculator that is available on the platform. “It is a project that has been funded by US space agency and it has been developed by a start-up company called Varmen,” he said.


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