Lacuna Fund is the world’s first collaborative effort to provide data scientists, researchers, and social entrepreneurs in low-and middle-income contexts globally with the resources they need to produce labeled datasets that address urgent problems in their communities. The aim is to supports the creation, expansion, and maintenance of equitably labeled datasets that enable the robust application of machine learning tools of high social value in low- and middle-income contexts globally.
In January 2021, I was thrilled to receive good news for our project titled ‘‘Machine Learning Datasets for Crop Pest and Disease Diagnosis based on Crop Imagery and Spectrometry Data’’ is among the winners of Lacuna Fund in Agricultural AI for social good domain. The project will produce quality, open and accessible image and spectrometry datasets from Uganda, Tanzania, Namibia, and Ghana for several crops that contribute to food security in Sub-Saharan Africa, including cassava, maize, beans, bananas, pearl millet, and cocoa. I will lead a team of Data Scientists and Researchers from Tanzania, in collaboration with teams from Makerere University AI Lab in Uganda, Namibia University of Science and Technology in Namibia, and the karaAgro AI Foundation in Ghana. The project will receive USD 239,791.43 to collect the datasets that will be used for early disease identification, disease diagnosis, and modelling disease spread, which will ultimately help in breeding resistant crop varieties.