Locusts the scourge of Africa
The resulting agricultural disaster constitutes a real threat to food security that could lead to famine.
So how can we combat such devastating plagues of locusts?
In response to this humanitarian threat, CNES and its subsidiaries CLS and Novacom Services proposed an early-warning system to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
- rain that is good for crops also favours hatching of locusts and the profusion of leafy green vegetation to bring them rapidly to maturity;
- wind can also speed the spread of swarms;
- satellite-based tracking tools are helping affected nations to adopt measures to eradicate locust swarms that pose a threat to populations’ food “reserves”.
Satellite data at the Tech for Food forum
For this reason, CNES is one of the 1st partners supporting the Tech For Food event, which aims to get new information and communication technologies (NICTs) working to develop farming and food production in the world’s southern nations.
- In Mali, thanks to the joint efforts of NGO Action Contre La Faim and the Malian authorities, satellites are helping Tuareg and Fulani pastoralists to guide their flocks toward pastures;
- In Senegal, farmers can keep track on mobile phones of the prices their crops are fetching at market.
But, like all such initiatives, it is confronted by the digital divide opening up between North and South.