Desert locusts plaguing Africa
This agricultural disaster constitutes a real threat to food security that could lead to famine.
Able to drift on the wind for up to 200 km in one day, swarms number billions of voracious locusts each consuming 2 grams of food every day.
That means a swarm is capable of devouring 10,000 tonnes of vegetation daily.
Satellites to the rescue
The answer lies in the conditions under which locusts multiply, which depend on the weather: rain that is good for crops also favours hatching; sandy or moist clayey soils are ideal for laying eggs; and leafy green vegetation brings them to maturity.
This is a fine example of how satellite technology can be applied to further a good cause—food security—by enabling infested countries to fight this winged plague.