Remote Diagnosis

April 06, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is setting up an internet kiosk network in agrarian
areas to help farmers identify crop diseases and find quicker remedies government
officials said. “Farmers can go to a cyber unit with a disease affected leaf and show
it to an officer there who will in turn take a digital image of the
leaf and e-mail it to officers of the Department of Agriculture,” said
Director Projects of the Ministry of Agriculture, L.K. Hathurusinghe

“They will use the image to identify the disease and find possible remedies.”

Officials hope these units set up at rural agricultural information
centres will help farmers find instant solutions to field level
problems such as pests and diseases.

According to the agriculture ministry, 46 such units have already been
established and more will be set up in all agrarian development
centres island wide.

The units are equipped with computers, internet access, digital
cameras, and scanners and would enable web conferencing among farmers and an agriculture
research station.

“The cyber unit project is still in an experimental stage and we hope
that it will provide an efficient service for far