MOBILE APPLICATION FOR KAROO PLANT IDENTIFICATION

Ever walked in the veld and suddenly come across a “bossie” flowering profusely with beautiful yellow flowers, and wondered to yourself...  What species is this?  Do my sheep/goats/cattle eat it?  Is it poisonous?  Is it an indication that I am overgrazing the veld?  And with the best intentions in the world you pick a piece, put it in your pocket or bakkie for later identification in your office, where you have plant identification books.  But we all know that by the time you get back to your office all thoughts of identifying plants will be out the window, because there will probably be lots more important issues to take care of. 

Wouldn’t it have been nice to have an easily accessible resource available right there in the veld to assist you in identifying the plant?  With the technology available today the answer lies right there in your hand – a mobile application on your cell phone.  Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute (DALRRD – GADI), in conjunction with the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and TurtleTech Pty., has developed a mobile application for identifying and providing information on common grazing plants occurring in the Nama-Karoo biome of South Africa.

Three phases are included in the development process:

Phase 1 of the mobile application is currently available for download on the Google Play Store and iOS platforms at no cost.  Once installed the application does not need internet connectivity and can therefore be used in the veld even if there is no signal.  To download the application use “Nama-Karoo Plants” in the search field on both these platforms.