Developing a user-friendly application for smallholder farmers for detection of plant diseases and nutritional disorders

University of Barcelona, Integrative Crop Ecophysiology Group, Barcelona, Spain


International Center for Biosaline Agriculture, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Steps to follow for collecting data using the “UB DoctorX ICBA” ODK App

  1. Download the mobile app ODK Collect, if you do not already have it.

You will need to connect to the internet with an Android device and go to Google Play, search for “ODK” and select “ODK Collect” from ‘Open Data Kit’. Click the button to install. Select OK at the security configuration. After installation it will appear in your app directory. Select the app to launch.

  1. How to connect to the server “Aggregate” of the UB Doctor X ICBA

To change ODK Collect preferences, press your device’s dedicated Menu button when you are in the ODK Collect start screen. On Android 3.x and 4.x devices without a dedicated Menu button, the Menu button functions are accessed through the narrow vertical glyph of three small squares displayed in the top right of the menu bar. From “General settings” select “Server” and change the section in the middle labeled “ODK Aggregate Settings” to the URL:

  1. Download the form Doctor X ICBA:

Now that you have connected to the correct Aggregate server select “Get Blank Form” to download the form called UB DoctorX ICBA.  Now that you have the form stored locally, you can collect data as much as needed without an internet connection. The data still needs to be uploaded afterwards once you have Wi-Fi access.

4. Full in a blank ODK UB DoctorX ICBA Form with field, pest, plant and metadata using the form instructions:

Once you have the UB DoctorX ICBA form in the ODK app on your phone you can start a data point by going to Fill Blank Form, Select UB DoctorX ICBA, and start. Follow the instructions on the screen and fill in all of the requested information. Select a crop/trial area of one of the project crops (quinoa, tomato, capsicum, cucumber, or other) with at least 5 infested/diseases/affected leaves. The form will request the crop field details, pest details, plant details, including pictures, and also collect some metadata. After the first form screen on the field details is completed (mandatory), slide the image to the left and it will move to the next form section. on the pest/disease details. There are 4 form sections in total. In the third form section is the take and annotate pictures part. You may take a new picture or select one picture that was already taken. The last form section is the metadata information (date and time and device id). The idea is to include all of the necessary supporting information and also take one general picture of the crop field and then 5 close-up detailed images per data point (5 per plant, repeat for more plants, or if necessary combine several plants for the total of 5 affected leaves). Language support is provided for English, French and Arabic. You can select the language of the form by using the menu button, the “glyph” with the three dots in the upper right corner.

5. Delivery of the data once done with the field collection:

It is imperative that you remember to send in your data as soon as you can establish an internet connection.  It is very easy once you are back in the office or at any place with internet. Go back to ODK Collect and go to to “Send Finalized Form (x)” (there will be one single form for each data point and each data point will include 10 full sized images) select all and press the button “Send Selected.” It will now start to send in the data and will confirm transmission once completed. Sent forms will now appear in the Sent Forms list.

6. Checking the state of your data:

To make sure that your data was recorded with regards to both the field details, general image and the detailed images, you can go to and as a shared Google Spreadsheet here.

Professors Jose Luis Araus and Shawn C. Kefauver, University of Barcelona, Integrative Crop Ecophysiology Research Group, Barcelona, Spain