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Optika Solutions Partners in the Quest for Global Food Security

With the threat of the Whitefly ripping through crops and de-stabilizing food security, the team at Optika Solutions offered a helping hand to researchers with their advanced data expertise, resulting in an award-winning database for the research team.

Optika Solutions gave its support and expertise in big data analytics to assist a group of students from the University of Western Australia (UWA) in their ground-breaking research to combat the Whitefly.

The Whitefly is an invasive pest found in warm and tropical climates that presents major problems in crop protection. Whiteflies and the viruses they carry can infect many host plants, including agricultural crops (particularly cassava and beans) and palms. These problems are complicated by difficulties in classifying and detecting new Whitefly biotypes.

Proper diagnosis of plant diseases depends on using sophisticated molecular techniques to detect and characterize the viruses and Whiteflies which are present in a crop. Worldwide economic losses from transmission of viruses and general damage from the Whitefly are estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Aside from the economic impact of crop damage, the impact on food supply of critical stable food crops has a significant impact on global food security.

Students at UWA have worked to develop a database which will help farmers around the world identify the Whitefly pest. With the assistance of data scientists from Optika Solutions, they were able to accurately document their findings with the right statistical and programming knowledge needed to create such a database.

The database created, www.whiteflybase.org made is to the 2015 WAITTA Incite Awards finals and has become another important weapon in the global battle against the Whitefly.

Optika Solutions employ staff who have a wide range of expertise in both programming and statistics. We are experts in our field and can assist many businesses, companies and research teams with statistical and programming knowledge. We were very proud to have worked with the Whitefly Base team at UWA in their quest to manage this global problem.

 

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