Artificial Intelligence model to identify crop diseases in the offing – GAEC

The Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) is developing an Artificial Intelligence (AI) model to identify the types of crop diseases and their causal agents.

According to the Manager of Radio Astronomy and Astrophysics Center of GSSTI, Dr. Theophilus Ansah-Narh, the AI model would help the farmers identify the particular crop disease and apply a tailored approach to yield treatment, significantly increasing disease control effectiveness.

The Manager explained that “farmers will only have to snap images of their crops’ leaves and upload them to the app for the AI model to determine the type of disease affecting the crop”.

Dr. Ansah-Narh disclosed this at a webinar dubbed: “MESTI Webinar Visibility Series,” organized by GAEC in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), focusing on space science technology in Accra.

The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, in his remarks commended Dr. Ansah-Narh and GSSTI for the major strides made in Artificial Intelligence research. He also lauded the Institute for using big data techniques to collect and analyze data to better understand space and its components.

“Processes are far advanced for Ghana to develop a space policy that will provide a platform for the country to harness the full potential of space science and technology. I can announce that the policy is at the subcommittee level, and every indication is pointing to its eventual approval” he disclosed.

In a speech delivered on behalf of the Director-General of GAEC, Prof. Samuel B. Dampare, the Director of GSSTI, Prof. Shiloh Osae stated that through the work of GSSTI, Ghana has become the second African country, besides South Africa to successfully transform its telecommunication antenna into a radio telescope for data collection and training purposes.

According to Prof. Osae, GAEC agreed to host the technical activities of Ghana’s space program in 2011 since the Commission had the skill set required for such a high-level technical program.

“As a fallout of this accomplishment, the GSSTI is now collaborating with the University of Leeds to train astronomers from Ghana and other African countries” he added.

The webinar was held under the theme “Big Data in Space Science Technology” to promote GSSTI’s application of space science and technology to Ghana’s development.