Lacuna Fund are thrilled to share their first cohort of supported projects in the agricultural AI for social good domain. With over 100 applications from, or in partnership with, organizations across Africa, the recipients of this first round of funding are unlocking the power of machine learning to alleviate food security challenges, spur economic opportunities, and give researchers, farmers, communities, and policymakers access to superior agricultural datasets.
Eyes on the Ground: Providing Quality Model Training Data through Smartphones
In the Eyes on the Ground project, the team from ACRE Africa and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) will use smartphones to create a unique dataset of georeferenced crop images along with labels on input use, crop management, phenology, crop damage, and yields. Images will be collected in 11 counties in Kenya. Funding will be used to support data collection, standardization of methods for submitting images, and curation of datasets so they meet best practices for ground reference data collection and cataloguing, while safeguarding ethics considerations.
“This is a novel concept that endeavors to provide smallholder farmers with risk mitigation and adaptation strategies through satellites and smart phones to ensure that they invest in high productivity agriculture investments. The ground pictures not only provide ACRE Africa with Eyes on the Ground to fine-tune insurance products/models and minimize basis risk, but also enable us to observe management practices that promote the adoption of productivity-enhancing yet resilient technologies through bundling with stress-tolerant seeds and remote advisories. To bridge the gap between insurance products, resilient technologies and smallholder farmers we leverage on the Village Extension Service Providers (VESPs) model, a high touch and robust route to market model to help create awareness, capacitate and distribute our products. This model ultimately intends to create entrepreneurial opportunities.” Lilly Waithaka, Agri-climate Data Analyst, ACRE Africa.
To read more on the fund, visit source: https://lacunafund.org/awards/