Rice is one of the most widely cultivated food crops throughout the world. But due to deficiency in the balance of mineral levels, the production of rice often gets severely affected. Also, some destructive and sporadic rice diseases such as blast and brown spot are closely related with this loss of balance of mineral levels. Such deficiencies in the balance of mineral levels can be identified by detecting the change in the appearance of rice leaves. In the present article, we present our recent study on the use of image analysis based techniques for detection of possible changes in rice leaves indicating deficiency in the balance of mineral levels in rice fields. Such an attempt is a pioneering one and the ultimate goal of this study is the development of a prototype system, which may be embedded in camera phones for its convenient and effective use by the farmers. Simulation studies presented in this paper are based on images of rice leaves obtained from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines. © 2007 IEEE.