Rural farmers welcome instant DNA device helping tackle crop diseases 'head on'

Farmers in rural Tanzania have welcomed a new device that can help fight crop diseases and save their livelihoods.

The technology allows them to identify crops that have been attacked by deadly viruses.

It works by providing real-time DNA analysis on the farm - a process which would have taken several months to a year, scientists have said.

"What would have normally taken six months to a year has just happened in a couple of hours," said Dr. Laura Boykin, a scientist at the University of Western Australia who helped roll out the technology.

The process will allow farmers to take action quickly to stop crop diseases from spreading and destroying entire harvests.

The technology is vital to protecting key crops such as Cassava on which 800 million people worldwide depend on, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.