In order to cope with the development of new tool, Tainan DARES adapted the Line to response the diagnosis of disease and pest for farmers. Line (usually stylized in all-caps as LINE) is an application for instant messaging on smart phones and PCs. LINE users exchange text messages, graphics, video and audio media, make free VoIP calls, and hold free audio or video conferences.
Diagnosis of disease and nutrient disorder of crops are the major free service for farmers provided by Tainan DARES. Farmers can deliver their soil or plant samples by surface mail. Diagnosis by the oral communication is not easy if there is no physical sample available, the farmers can send the photo or video to assist the specialist to identify the symptom of possible plant disease. Even they can send the graphics and video by email service (firstname.lastname@example.org ), LINE application is more convenient to deliver the image by the smart phone users. Tainan DARES conducted its first pilot trial in Yunlin County on the end of 2012, and officially introduce the LINE service on November of 2013. Until now (February, 2014), 82 cases have been identified by the LINE service.
Mobile devices are getting popular in the future, more than 51% residents in Taiwan use smart phones, and LINE user number according to wikipedia that Japan claimed 45 million users, Taiwan and Thailand 15 million each, and Spain and Indonesia 10 million each. Users also can apply the diagnosis service from the mobile homepage of Tainan DARES. We believe that more farmers can solve their problem via this service.