Plantix - grow smart
Fighting plant pests, diseases and nutrient deficiencies with a smartphone and the force of human and neural networks!
40% of harvests are lost due to plant pests and nutrient deficiencies. Plantix is a free of use app to diagnose and treat crop problems.
I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.
Scaling (the solution has passed the previous stages and is growing its impact on a regional or global scale)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Secondary Focus Area
Headquarters location: Country
Headquarters location: City
Location(s) of impact
India: States Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh
Brazil: States São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Santa Catarina
Many more :)
Screenshot "disease detected"
Inida: Co-funders Charlotte and Alex testing Plantix with students from ANGRAU
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
Farmers, their families and our growing population depend heavily on secure harvests.
However, plant diseases, weeds, pests and soil nutrient deficiencies cause a loss of 15-40% of the absolute production volume in agriculture. The control of plant damage has major bottlenecks: the classification of the damage is based on expert knowledge as is the recommendation for appropriate treatment and prevention. The vast majority of farmers have little to no access to such services and knowledge especially when they are needed
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
Plantix is a free, easy-to-use smartphone app for farmers worldwide. Just by taking a picture with a phone, they can analyse crops for damage and take informed action. Plantix delivers a diagnosis in seconds based on AI and a constantly growing network of community members. Its library has been translated into 10 languages and consists of 500 types of damage with information about symptoms, triggers, prevention, as well as biological and conventional treatment options. With every picture sent the Plantix database grows and more problems can be recognized automatically. Every user strengthens the app’s forum, the place where peers and experts engage a thousand times a day and find help and localized solutions in their language. Plantix holds the largest structured database on plant damage. This data enables real time monitoring of the occurrence and spread of crop problems, which is key for warnings and the strategic fight against pests at a national or international level.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
In 2017 Plantix has been downloaded over 500,000 times and in every single country, with most users in India and Brazil. In more than 1.7 million sessions, the 280,000 active monthly users find assistance in the library with the help of Plantix AI and through digital peer-to-peer support. Plantix empowers farmers whatever their social status, income, gender, age or religion. A reliable diagnosis and sound information in 10 languages gives them the chance to make informed decisions, which thank you letters and beautiful social media comments prove every day. With regard to ecological sustainability, it became clear that through helping our users to treat their problems early and effectively, the misuse and wasteful application of fertilizers and pesticides can be significantly reduced. This is not only financially attractive to the farmers, but will of course also reduce environmental depletion and subsequent threats to human health and ecosystems.
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
Currently we rely on investments. While Plantix is and will remain a free service without ads, a sound and proven business plan ensures its viability. Plantix as a data-mining tool strengthens the products we built our business on: 1. Our image recognition service can be used in every system equipped with a camera via an API, which will be licensed monthly (in place). 2. The information about the occurrence and spread of plant diseases and pests is a valuable asset for private actors like insurance companies and governments alike. The sale of these metadata packages will create revenue too (in development). 3. A new Plantix shop feature will let farmers know where to find the products they need or to allow them to purchase them online directly, creating affiliate revenues (in development).
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
We bring meaningful technology to millions of smallholders and give their very urgent questions the priority they deserve. Our AI delivers reliable results for more than 200 plant problems within seconds. Our community connects farmers and specialists in unprecedented numbers and uses AI to help them find the answers that suit them best. Our passionate team creates an app of outstanding performance and usability. No competitor has such broad focus, wide reach and quality.
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
Four of our seven founders used to work on a research project on land use and greenhouse gas emissions in Brazil. During their daily contact with farmers they had two main aha moments: 1.The huge demand for agricultural consulting was not being met. At the farms they were often asked if they could help with plant health problems. The vast majority that could not afford an expert coming to their farm got their “consulting” at the counters of local agricultural stores. 2.The internet cannot help farmers in need if they use their local languages and expressions. A pasture problem called morte subita (sudden death) was a constant cause of sorrow for local farmers who got only pictures of fatal car accidents when they looked up the problem on search engines. At the end of the project in the middle of the Amazon rain forest the solution to these two problems came to them and Plantix was born.
Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?