damuhan app

Photo by: Jan Lois Libed

Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) applied a Facebook technology in agriculture; allowing farmers to “shoot to kill” – that is, getting rid of weeds through the phone camera.

To be released within the year, the e-Damuhan utilized the typical routine of social media users: shoot, upload, and tag friends, which became popular that Facebook devised a way to easily tag friends through face recognition.

Nehemiah L. Caballong, an information systems researcher involved in developing the app, said that the app contains a catalogue that aids in identifying the photographed weeds.

“The e-Damuhan makes use of artificial intelligence to recognize weeds, which is similar to how our brains work.  Our brain needs to accumulate more information about a certain topic for us to learn. With certain amount of information, the person’s brain will be trained to be acquainted in a particular topic,” Caballong explained.

The e-Damuhan, he said, is being “trained” to recognize weeds using certain number of specimens or weeds photos.

“The more specimens, the more it can accurately  recognize weeds,” he said.

Dindo King M. Donayre, one of the researchers developing the app, said the app makes identifying the non-plants and their management easier and more accessible to farmers.

“Farmers typically rely on sources like books, which are sometimes expensive and limited in contents. Aside from being a handy material to identify weeds, using the app is also inexpensive,” he said.

The app, which is also helpful to extension workers and students, currently the catalogs the most common weed species in the Philippines.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute