Banner Yantra Learning 2018
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As part of Yantra Learning 2017/18, Nepal’s first machine learning competition, Team RARS from IOE, Pulchowk campus presented their final demo on the final day of the program. The main focus of their project, Plant-Disease-Recognition, was to create a system that could help farmers detect diseases in plants and recommend necessary solutions with a smartphone. With the help of this app, farmers will be able to recognize problems in their crops and also locate the remedy.

Team RARS consisting of Raj Shrestha, Satyartha Upadhyaya, Anish Shrestha and Rajiv Shah, pointed out that Nepali farmers are still lacking behind in terms of technology. The technology that’s being employed by Nepali farmers are still very traditional. This happens due to their lack of access to modern tools and updated information about technology. The team discovered that it is crucial that diseases in plants should be detected at an early stage. If not then there is an imminent risk of losing 60-80 % of the produce.

Majority of farmers are uneducated and uninformed about the advanced technology but they at the least have access to smartphones. Younger members of their families have extensive enough knowledge on using the smartphones.The app that RARS created uses image processing to identify the disease and suggest the respective solution. The app also has language changing features for the natives and backed up by a cloud server with machine learning model. This version of the app has been tested primarily with Corn with the result of 85% accuracy.

Bikash Gurung, president of Robotics Association  of Nepal (RAN) says that Yantra Learning  is an initiation to bring the global community of machine learning in Nepal. “Our goal is to bring that international ML vibe into Nepal and create a community (not on corporate level)” Bikash says, “and as a community we can interact on various issues related to ML and AI, share our ideas, help each other learn and grow and lay the basic foundation of ML for young students.”

Bikash started the event by sharing his views on the ML scenario in Nepal. He pointed out the profound need of ML education in Nepal. With Yantra Learning as first ML hackathon and workshop, Bikash hopes to establish a foundation for the ML community in Nepal. Anjal Niraula from Gham Power, Kshitiz Rimal from Developers session, Anish Shrestha from Fawesome Apps and Events and Subash Manandhar from Fusemachines were there to observe the demo. They all presented their own views on the current situation of ML as well. They informed briefly about how the company they represent are contributing to the ML and AI scene of Nepal.

Members of RARS team have been granted seats in the AI Fellowship Nepal second batch.They will be joining the rest of the fellows in the classes and might get an opportunity to work in Fusemachines after the completion of the fellowship.