SAP Innovation Award Winner Regional Choice

Crop Disease Management helps farmers to feed the world

Every day, smallholder farmers around the world must look out at their fields and make crucial decisions that could drastically affect their livelihoods. The Waterwatch Crop Disease Alert app supports these farmers in their day to day operations, giving guidance and suggesting actions. Artificial intelligence and smart agricultural models that support the app helps farmers to:

  • Make better decisions
  • Obtain a much higher yield
  • Produce more per acre: saving our valuable wildlife and forests
  • Increase their income

For farmers, crop diseases are the biggest risk for bad yields beside bad weather. Having a small income already, a bad yield can be devastating and even life threatening. It is our ambition to help by providing the right tools to the farmers.

There are 475 million smallholder farmers in the world. That’s why Waterwatch Cooperative, working with SAP and partners NextView and Infoplaza, developed the Crop Disease Alert app in May 2017. WaterWatch used the SAP® Cloud Platform.

Alert on Crop Diseases enables larger yields
The Crop Disease Alerts app monitors a crop’s growing conditions and through the early detection of any change in its environment, which might cause a specific disease to occur. Depending on the factors of the crop’s environmental conditions such as rain, temperature, humidity, et cetera.

How does the Crop Disease Alert work?
Crop Disease Alert conducts a risk analysis for disease occurrence identifying the risk level ranging from green (no risk) to red (high risk) for each possible infection. It then alerts the farmers, the users of the application, and informs them regarding the condition of their crops so that they can apply an appropriate treatment in time. As a result, farmers will have a higher and more consistent yield and thus a better income.

There are different versions of Crop Disease Alert for different crops such as potatoes, onions, wheat, etc. as the method to calculate the potential risks varies for each crop.

SAP strongly supports the UN 17 Sustainable Development by helping to end poverty, protect the planet, fight diseases, and ensure prosperity for all by 2030. Goals through digital transformation.

The Runlive Truck of SAP Netherlands entered the Global Forum for Innovation in Agriculture (GFIA) to design and develop the first version of the app. Waterwatch provides the first continental database that provides quantitative data for the Global Vegetation Database and is approved by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Geo-data solutions and services will leverage the unified data model and quantitative data.

Digital Transformation: The way to sustainability
Like SAP, WaterWatch strongly believes in the road of Digital Transformation. Technology and data will drive the future of AgriFood. The Crop Disease Alert shows how new technologies and data-driven applications gives farming a new face, with transparency and sustainable sourcing at its core.

The majority of the 475 million smallholder farmers (82% of all farmers worldwide) live in Asia, Africa and Latin America and are disconnected from the digital world. Many of them are trapped in a vicious circle of:

  • poverty
  • land degradation
  • climate change
  • low productivity.

It is our ambition to provide them with the latest technology. By using the app, can make better business decisions and build a better life for themselves and support local communities.

Not only for the farmers themselves, but the AgriFood sector benefits from the Digital Transformation. Many in the AgriFood sector realise that, in order to feed the world in 2050, the sector must change.  Food will become traceable from ‘field-to-fork’. Smart farming will be carried out as part of a circular economy and within a healthy eco-system that nurtures our planet.

First success, but: We’re not there yet!
We are proud to contribute to a better life for the farmers who are using the Crop Disease Alert app or which the WaterWatch Foundation is helping in other projects.

Waterwatch Cooperative’s mission is to make essential information about weather, water supply, and crop conditions more easily available to farmers and other players in the agri-food value chain. 
Our next step is to transfrom the Crop Disease Alert app into a Grower App that will serve as the ‘Navigation device/GPS for farmers’.

To address the challenges in the AgriFood sector, we have to move beyond simple applications for single users. Instead an approach is needed in which the agricultural value chain is, just as nature itself, considered as an eco-system. This means moving away from the present project- and pilot-driven approach and making serious investments in connected agricultural value systems. With the available technology and data it is possible to make this transition possible.

Let us join forces to put the Waterwatch technology in the hands of all farmers worldwide!