Kenya to tool upon drones and mobile apps to check locust outbreak

In lieu with advancement in the agricultural sector, Kenya plans to use drones and mobile applications to help assess the impact caused by desert locusts.

On May 18, Kenya’s Minister for Agriculture, Peter Munya, said that the government plans to implement it in July and added that technology will be helpful to check locusts’ outbreak as some regions of Kenya that are heavily affected are hard to reach.

Peter Munya said, “We have commissioned a desert locust invasion impact assessment exercise to determine their effects on agriculture since they were reported in the country in December last year”.

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will fund the survey of locust that will be led by the Kenya Red Cross and will be carried out in 16 counties of Kenya that are heavily impacted. The Kenya Red Cross will hand over the survey to the government of Kenya in July.

Tobias Takavarasha, representative of the FAO in Kenya, said, “The findings will guide and inform future government preparedness in managing such events”.

He also added that the UN agency has put a range of tools such as the mobile app ‘eLocust3M’ that enables field officers to record where they encounter locusts, what stage of development they are in and what areas were treated.

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