Coconut industry to be transformed via Augmented Reality

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) is embarking on a new project which will transform the coconut industry across the Region. This is according to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Infrastructure Specialist, Ria Jack.

This venture is dubbed the Caribbean Coconut Industry Development Project (CCIDP) and is aimed at raising awareness of all coconut products through augmented reality.  Jack highlighted that Guyana is “one of our key countries falling under this project.” She noting that it is “definitely a part of us [CARDI] to push virtual reality and augmented reality in the coconut industry.”

Augmented Reality is a technology which imposes a computer-generated image which is then projected on a user’s view resulting in a composite image.

She stated that CARDI’s plan is to develop applications at their headquarters in Trinidad and Tobago after which, it will then be sent to countries across the Caribbean for testing. Jack noted, “what will work very well in Trinidad may not necessarily work very well in say Guyana or what may work very well in Guyana may not work in Barbados.”

Through these software applications, coconut farmers will be able to “test the soil and come up with algorithms” which will be able to determine where would be the best location to cultivate their crops.

Jack expressed her hope that augmented reality will aid coconut cultivators to yield more produce and expand the industry.

This project was presented during the Augmented Reality – Coconut Industry workshop, today at the Caribbean Telecommunications Union ICT roadshow hosted at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre in Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara.

The Department of Public Information (DPI) spoke to some of the participants of the workshop who expressed their views.

Martin Massiah told DPI he has never thought about connecting augmented reality with agriculture noting that it will be “a unique approach.” He opined that “it’s going to really transform the way that we teach not only in Guyana but throughout the Caribbean.”

Massiah said “it can also have some major impact” if it the technology can connect with live data analytics. This he said would allow farmers can have a better view of their plot along with the necessary data which will help them to maximize their productivity.

Daniel Baldeo-Thorn also expressed his belief that the implementation of augmented reality will greatly benefit not only Guyana’s coconut industry but overall the entire agriculture sector.

By: Anara Khan.