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Fruit firm seeks to develop a handheld portable device that detects fruit pests and diseases

PAPAYA pawpaw ANTHRACNOSE disease

Pawpaw fruits affected by Papaya Anthracnose disease. Orchard Technologies Enterprise is seeking to introduce a handheld device which will help farmers detect fruits pests and diseases. Photo courtesy.

Orchard Technologies Enterprise Ltd, an agribusiness start-up company in Nairobi, Kenya is seeking to come up with technology solution in the fruit business industry by developing a device to help farmers and entrepreneurs to detect and isolate fruit defects.

According to a 2012 research by Muchiri Caroline Mugure for the University of Nairobi on Economic Assessment of Losses due to Fruit Fly Infestation in Mango in Embu County, the average percentage loss due to fruit fly infestation via rejections at the farm was 24 percent, with some farmers reporting higher losses of up to 60 percent.

The pick and scan fruit device by Orchard Technologies Enterprise, seeks to minimise the losses caused by fruit pests and diseases attack, through early detection and isolation of infected or infested fruits. Thus facilitating the need to conduct this market survey.

However, according to Mugure’s research report, there have been efforts by the government and agricultural companies to come up with new and cheaper methods to reduce fruit pests and diseases infestation levels but farmers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for them is not known.

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Orchard Technologies Enterprise is currently conducting an online survey targeting intended users majority being farmers to find out among other issues the any losses that the farmers must have been recording in the past, location of the farmers, their scale of production and the possibility of them buying or willing to use the device.

To participate in the survey, follow the link> https://mosesngala.typeform.com/to/VSfY5t

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