Can an AI-powered insect trap solve a $220 billion pest problem?
London CNN Business —Pests destroy up 40% of the world’s crops each year, causing $220 billion in economic losses, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Trapview is harnessing the power of AI to help tackle the problem.
The Slovenian company has developed a device that traps and identifies pests, and acts as an advance warning system by predicting how they will spread.
As climate change causes species to spread, and disrupts the migration patterns of highly destructive pests, such as desert locusts, Štefančič hopes to help farmers save their crops with quicker, smarter interventions.
Targeted interventionsThe automated devices have been used to monitor grapes, tomatoes, olives, tree fruits, and, pictured here, brassicas.
courtesy EFOS LtdTrapview’s devices use pheromones to attract pests, which are photographed by a camera inside.
Once identified, the system incorporates location and weather data, maps out the likely impact of the insect and sends the findings to farmers via an app.
Devices come in various shapes and sizes, with the system tailored to crops and landscapes.
Štefančič says that Trapview can significantly reduce the use of chemical sprays and the need for farmers to visit their fields.
It’s not alone in using AI to help pest control.
Trapview says it has sold over 7,500 devices in more than 50 countries since it launched in 2012.
It has focused on Italy, France, Spain, the United States and Brazil, targeting crops as varied as grapes, tomatoes, olives, tree fruits, brassicas, cotton and sugarcane.