• Advance warning

    Advance warning

    Farmers in East Africa have a free, new mobile tool at their disposal in their fight against locust swarms, which can devastate crops and livelihoods.

    According to Biztech Africa, the tool, called Kuzi, is available to farmers in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Uganda, but the Kenyan-based company that developed it, Selina Wamucii, has plans to expand its services continent-wide.

    ‘We have a responsibility to develop and deploy locally bred solutions that address these challenges faced by our vulnerable rural communities,’ says CEO John Oroko.

    Kuzi combines satellite data on soil conditions, weather and vegetation with AI-powered machine learning to produce a real-time heatmap of locust positions and a breeding index, and predicts potential routes of locust swarms.

    Farmers can sign up for free using any mobile device and will receive an SMS up to three months in advance of a predicted locust swarm.

    In one day, a small swarm of 80 million of locusts can eat the equivalent of enough food to feed 35 000 people.

    19 January 2021
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images