Trapview: Can an AI-powered insect trap solve a $220 billion pest problem?


London
CNN Business

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), pests destroy 40% of the world’s crops each year, causing $ 220 billion in economic losses. Trapview is harnessing the power of AI to help solve problems.

Slovenian companies have developed devices that trap and identify insects and act as an early warning system, predicting how they will spread.

Matej Štefančič, CEO of Trapview and parent company EFOS, says: The best. ”

As climate change causes species to spread and disrupts migratory patterns of highly destructive insects such as the desert locust Štefančič, it hopes to help farmers save their crops with quicker and smarter intervention. .

Automated tools are used to control grapes, tomatoes, olives, fruit trees, and pictures here brassicas.

Trapview devices use pheromones to attract insects captured by the camera inside. AI goes through image references against Trapview database and can identify more than 60 species, such as ants that plague apples and cotton worms that can damage lettuce and tomatoes. Once identified, the system includes location and weather data, maps out potential impacts, and transmits findings to farmers through an app.

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According to Štefančič According to Štefančič, depending on the land and the value of the crop, a single trap can cover an area from a few hectares to more than 100 hectares. Devices come in a variety of shapes and sizes with systems that match crops and landscapes. ជួនកាលtefančič says that sometimes a single insect can be the cause for an alarm. In other cases, hundreds of insects can be caught and there is still no reason for concern.

Trapview can also calculate where to use pesticides. Ptefančič says Trapview can significantly reduce the use of pesticides and the need for farmers to visit their fields. By reducing the emissions generated by He claims that farmers drive to their farms and those involved in the production and transportation of pesticides are also technologically advanced. Can help the weather as well.

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Trapview is one of the few automated insect detection systems.

“Any agricultural technology and AI that can help address the challenges of the global food crisis is a good thing,” said Steve Edgington, head of the pesticide team at the International Center for Agriculture and Biology, a non-governmental organization. .

Edgington explains that about 2 million tons of pesticides are used each year.

“It is very important to reduce the use of pesticides on agricultural land if we produce food sustainably and in the face of pests and diseases and climate change.”

Trapview currently has 50 employees and received an investment of $ 10 million in September. It is not alone in using AI to help control pests. Pessl Instruments has developed iScout, a solar-powered insect trap and camera identification system, while FarmSense FlightSensor listens to insects and uses AI to identify them through the sound of their wings.

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Solutions like Trapview’s represent a shift away from conventional pest control, which is usually based on reactions rather than proactive approaches, according to Buyung Hadi, FAO agriculture official.

“Prediction technology could facilitate the transition to more sustainable crop protection if combined with safe and sustainable solutions such as biological control,” Hadi said. These technologies are key.

“Extreme care must be taken to create messages and recommendations that come from forecasting technology so that farmers do not panic, which could lead to the use of indiscriminate pesticides, which we want to avoid in the first place,” he added. . .

Trapview says it has sold more than 7,500 devices in more than 50 countries since it launched in 2012. It focuses on Italy, France, Spain, the United States and Brazil, focusing on crops such as grapes, tomatoes, olives, fruit trees, brassicas, cotton and sugar cane.

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