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Africa - AI-powered tool to combat locust swarms

A Kenyan-developed app makes use of satellite data, soil sensors, local weather patterns and machine learning to deliver predictions on where locusts migrate and breed.

Recent reports have warned of swarms continuing their southward migration across the Horn of Africa. Last week, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released $1.5 million for desert locust control operations in Kenya, which has since been reeling from its worst infestation in 70 years.

Amid this upsurge, one company has turned to artificial intelligence (AI) to help mitigate the damage caused by locust swarms. The roll out of a new tool called Kuzi generates a real-time heat map of locusts across Africa, displays all potential migration routes and offers a locust breeding index. It predicts migration and breeding routes across countries spanning the Horn of Africa and East Africa by using satellite data, soil sensor data, ground meteorological observation and machine learning.

The Kuzi tool displays a heat map of high-risk areas along with forecasts of breeding and swarm formation.

Kuzi is an initiative developed and funded by the Nairobi-based company Selina Wamucii, an online platform that connects buyers around the globe to African food and agricultural produce.

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