PlantVillage is a platform that automatically diagnoses plant diseases using computer vision tools and machine learning algorithms. It connects people growing food with the largest social network of crop health solutions. The algorithms for classifying diseases have been shown to work with a 99% accuracy. The researchers collected 150,000 images to train such algorithms. The algorithms are also now being developed on phones. The social networking platform is currently four years old and has over three million users. The annual growth rate for the platform is 250%.
Application & Market Utility
There are 76 land grant institutions and multiple Agricultural Research Stations operated by the USDA to stop import of diseases/pests. Each center requires point-of-care diagnosis and the opportunity for model transfer. Food security is a massive area of investment at local, state, federal, and international levels. Recently, Congress passed the Food Security Act that authorized $1 billion for President Obama’s Feed the Future program. Agriculture accounts for 10% of GDP but has only received 3.5% of investment, which suggests a high potential for growth.
Seeking research collaboration and licensing opportunities.