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Alliance to foster use and interoperability of digital tools for effective pest and disease management



Enable users to interact and share data across multiple applications for the diagnosis and management of known and emerging pests and diseases.

Expected impact

These linked applications will improve responses to both transboundary and endemic pests and diseases and enable better advice to farmers through diverse information and communication tools (ICTs). Better responses will reduce losses and benefit millions of root, tuber and banana farmers in low and middle income countries. This alliance will contribute to the goals of ending hunger and poverty by 2030, by improving the resilience of food systems in a climate crisis.

Description of the alliance

The alliance brings together centers of the CGIAR and partners who have generated digital tools for pest and disease surveillance (some are described below). The alliance is developing an approach based on application programming interfaces (APIs) to enable communication and/or interoperability of different tools and databases. This will make as much information as possible rapidly available from different sources, and such timely information can allow policy makers and farmers to prepare for oncoming threats in real-time. A first version of the “AgDxAPI” has been published on GitHub and a demonstration webpage will be implemented in 2021 to show its capabilities. The alliance will be open and encourage other ICT actors to join to continually improve the network to the benefit of plant health management globally. This alliance will support a global surveillance system (GSS) for low income countries as proposed recently by a consortium of scientists from leading global plant pathology organizations and aims to be included as a component of the plant health initiative of One CGIAR. This could be a model for the “data-management and collection component” proposed for the GSS, which could lead the way for further components.

Examples of use

One of the apps, PlantVillage Nuru, has been used to generate more than 16,000 user reports, which is helping East African cassava farmers identify major pests and diseases.

PestDisPlace has been extensively used to track the pandemic of cassava mosaic disease as it has spread across millions of cassava farms in South-East Asia.

Farmers in East and Central Africa are using Tumaini, a banana disease recognition app, to identify and control banana bacterial wilt. Banana companies in India have demanded the app to help their growers identify Fusarium wilt.

Pathotracer is part of a diagnostic kit for rapid pathogen detection and deployment of rice blight resistance.

Links to relevant blogs



PlantVillage Nuru

Cassava Disease Surveillance


Contact persons

James Legg:

Jan Kreuze:

Logos of Centers and partners