Tech

This technique helped crush them as locusts struck East Africa

“Oh, there’s locusts in northern Kenya,” he said. “Longitude and latitude coordinates are needed in real time.”

Cressman found it more efficient to create a simple smartphone app that anyone could collect data like an expert, rather than trying to rewrite the locust tracking software for the new tablet. He contacted Dr. Hughes, who had already created a mobile tool similar to the Food and Agriculture Organization, and tracked the devastating crop pest, Reeve’s Turtle. Plant Village, He founded.

The PlantVillage app uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help farmers, primarily in 60 African countries, diagnose problems in their area. Borrowing from this blueprint, Dr. Hughes and his colleagues have completed a new app. eLocust3m, In just one month.

Unlike previous tablet-based programs, anyone with a smartphone can use eLocust 3m. This app displays pictures of locusts at various stages of the life cycle. This helps the user diagnose what they see in the field. GPS coordinates are recorded automatically and the algorithm reconfirms the photo sent with each entry. Garmin International has also supported another program that works with satellite transmitters.

“This app is really easy to use,” said Jeptoo of Plant Village. Last year she recruited and trained locust trackers in four regions of Kenya. “There were elder scouts between the ages of 40 and 50, and even they could use it.”

Last year 240,000 locust records An influx from East Africa gathered by Plant Village scouts, government-trained personnel, and citizens. But that was only the first step. Countries then needed to act on data in a systematic way to crush locusts. However, during the first few months, authorities had a strategy “behind the envelope,” Cressman said, and there were only four planes to spray pesticides throughout the region.

Batian Craig, director of 51 Degrees, a security and logistics company focused on wildlife conservation, saw Cressman quote in a news article about locusts and realized he could help. ..

This technique helped crush them as locusts struck East Africa

Source link This technique helped crush them as locusts struck East Africa

Back to top button