R170 000 000 Annually!
Efforts to control these pests have in the past proved futile because the accurate scheduling of chemical sprays - which would reduce the number of stink bugs damaging the kernels of the Macadamia nuts - relies heavily on the accurate identification of stink bug species, which is difficult because the people involved are more often than not untrained. Furthermore, area wide pest control has not been possible because a central storage of the necessary data has not been set up among the Macadamia nut growers.
Enter VSD. With the realisation of the problem at hand, we have made an Android app that allows for correct identification and requires minimal training. Instead of training a scout to identify species, he/she can just use visual references to identify the bug or, better yet, allow the phone to identify the bug by itself! This scout information is stored in a central database that houses all growers’ data so that decisions can be made by looking at the collective results of an entire farm or farming area.