CANBERRA, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Australia's peak scientific body has invested in technology that provides real-time fruit fly detection, helping farmers battle the pest.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) on Thursday announced support for RapidAim, a CSIRO start-up that developed a system that uses smart sensors to identify approaching fruit flies by their unique movement, from the CSIRO Innovation Fund.
RapidAim's sensors can provide fruit producers with real-time data on the location of fruit flies, potentially revolutionizing the fight against them.
"Growers rely on weather radar and take action accordingly, but until now they haven't had any pest 'radar' to support them against pests like fruit fly,"Nancy Schellhorn, co-founder and chief executive of RapidAim, said in a media release.
"Existing fruit fly monitoring relies solely on manual trap checking, which limits the scale and depth of available information and costs valuable resources."
Fruit flies lay eggs in fruit and vegetables that hatch as the produce ripens, causing huge losses for growers.
Larry Marshall, chief executive of the CSIRO, said the technology had the potential to change the way fruit pests were combatted around the world and reduce the 900 million tonnes of insecticide currently used by growers every year.
"As Australia's national science agency, we're committed to solving Australia's greatest challenges - in this case a more than 300 million Australian dollar (213 million U.S. dollar) cost to Australian fruit and vegetable industry," Marshall said.
"Taking technology developed inside of CSIRO, turned into a new Aussie startup through our innovation program and the CSIRO Innovation Fund, is a great example of accelerating science solutions to deliver real-world solutions."