Organisation Name: BioScout
Name: Saron Berhane
BioScout – Automating Airborne Disease Tracking.
The Problem And How You Are Solving It:
Growers lose at least 20% of their crop yield to plant diseases each growing season, which amounts to $2.6bn per year in losses to the market and potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars for individuals.
The techniques currently used to monitor plant disease spread use labour and time-intensive scouting techniques to determine the sources of infection on farmland. Crop scouts must
travel great distances in a field but overall, only have the capacity to sample a small area of a field.
The practice of scouting relies heavily on the experience and expertise of the individual performing
the inspection and so there is the potential for errors or misdiagnosis. If disease is suspected, farmers and agronomists have the ability to send samples to pathology labs where they can be
more thoroughly analysed and accurately diagnosed.
However, given the remote location of most farms, this process can be slow (i.e. turnaround time for results is around 1-3 weeks) and this
method also relies on the samples being physically transported hundreds – thousands of kilometres away.
We are solving this by giving our uses real-time data about the identity, density and location of pathogens in a crop field. By positioning multiple devices in the field, they benefit from whole field mapping and receive unprecedented visibility and information about the state of disease in their field.
BioScout provides a real-time disease tracking solution for farmers and agronomists who want to minimise their losses and expenditure due to airborne plant diseases. Our services provide much-needed data and visibility to users that ultimately saves them yield quality and quantity as well as minimise fungicide resistance. Unlike traditional disease detection and management methods, which can only see and react to diseases after they have spread costing farmers billions, our airborne disease tracking platform lets farmers know when disease strikes and what they can do about it. BioScout Pty Ltd has its headquarters in Sydney, Australia and is owned and managed by Lewis Collins, Saron Berhane, Henry Brindle and Josh Wilson. All four directors have extensive engineering experience (in their respective fields) as well as backgrounds in science and mathematics. The directors currently take on hands-on management roles in the company.