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Story of an Unique App that lets

Farmers Monitor Crops Fromthe Sky

PlantVillage strategically uses satellite data from the UN as well as implementing Machine Learning. It monitors biomass on a plot of land, giving farmers actionable insight and vital information about how crops grow.

Plant Village
About Client
About Client

Associate professor, Penn State, specializing in entomology and Biology




AgroTechnology, Machine Learning, AI

Word from Client
Word from Client

We are providing solutions to farmers and extension workers by leveraging advances in AI, mobile phones, drones, satellites, and nanotechnology. We don't think technology alone is the solution, but we do believe they have the potential to help smallholder farmers.


Provide critical support to farmers to overcome crop disease, manage the fluctuations in the climatic condition, and save crops from damage. Create a knowledge repository or a platform for providers to share critical information to growers across the globe.

Expected Outcome

Application will work in tandem with the camera of the device to capture images of plants with disease and give the user a preliminary diagnosis with highest level of accuracy. Q&A forum connecting users across the globe to pose questions about farming.

RationaleBehind the system


covers 154 types of crops

This is among the largest free library of science-based knowledge on plant diseases. The rapidly growing site covers 154 types of crops and more than 1,800 diseases and offers an all new image database.

algorithm capable of diagnosing 26 diseases

A computerized plant diagnostic system with an intelligent algorithm capable of diagnosing 26 diseases in 14 crops with almost 99 percent accuracy rate. In essence, computers have developed a knack and have been "trained" to diagnose plant diseases by quickly and accurately comparing the images of healthy and diseased leaves.

learn about crop varieties

Get strategic support and counselling to assist farmers get more information about climate-resilient crop varieties, cost-effective irrigation methods, and flood mitigation and soil conservation strategies, as well as several industry best practices.

the app does not require wireless

Upon download, the app does not require wireless access to cellular data or remote computing power.

PlantVillage Nuru

"PlantVillage Nuru" can fetch data from the United Nations' WaPOR (Water Productivity through Open access of Remotely sensed derived data) portal. This database integrates 10 years' worth of satellite-derived data from NASA and computes critical metrics related to crop productivity according to available water.

technical knowledge

Farmers don't need much technical knowledge or literacy to use the app; they simply point a phone at the infested crop and the app will provide an accurate diagnosis using the talking AI assistant, Nuru.

70 countries and 21 languages

Used by United Nations across 70 countries and 21 languages to help growers manage the invasive fall armyworm.

Global Reach

Global Reach



Malawi, Egypt, Togo, Guinea

PlantVillage Nuru


mainly Kenya



Uganda, Kenya, Pakistan, India




PlantVillage Global Map
Key Findings

The Penn State researchers and experts extensively tested the performance of the machine-learning models with locally sourced smartphones in high light and temperature settings typically found in an African farm. These tests showed the app was twice as good as human experts providing accurate diagnoses, and it phenomenally increased the ability of farmers to discover problems on their farms.

Impact onthe Business


Downloads on a single day


Improvement in Yield






Active Users

Challenging Features


Diagnose crop diseases

Diagnose crop diseases in the absence of even an internet connection

Integration of TensorFlow

Seamless integration of TensorFlow, an open-source software fundamentally used for numerical computation using data flow graphs.

Maintaining a high accuracy

Providing a high accuracy level for disease detection.

Integration of satellite weather

Comprehensive integration of satellite weather data to predict conditions in future.

Power BI

Power BI to present disease data records on the map. This information will empower scientists at Penn State to make decisions and inform the respective government to take preventive steps.

Hidden Brains path to the solution
  • Innovative use of Kanban approach to effectively manage work with several stakeholders.
  • Leverage Trello Board to ensure complete transparency of the work.
  • Incremental release of new features & improvements to enhance users' experience and motivate users.
  • Conducted onsite visits with the client to the targeted countries to decipher underlying problems.
  • A dedicated team to ensure complete flexibility of scaling up the team and down.
  • Adopted a collaborative approach with specialists from different countries and university experts from the USA.
Highlights Highlights

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