Pests can decimate crops and are estimated to cause around a 40% loss. These insects, mites and plant pathogens can impact on food security and impede supply chains and international trade. A Pest Risk Information SErvice (PRISE) aims to solve this problem by using data to help farmers manage pests in up to five countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Innovation can provide new solutions. This project will help to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers by reducing crop losses caused by pests across six sub-Saharan African countries. To forecast the risk of pest outbreaks, we will use a novel combination of earth observation technology, satellite positioning, and plant-pest lifecycle to deliver a science-based Pest Risk Information SErvice (PRISE) for sub-Saharan Africa.
Expansive, novel crowd sourcing observations will also be established to strengthen and validate the system. Ministers of Agriculture and their extension experts in Zambia, Ghana and Kenya will be actively engaged and involved in this pest forecasting system, which collects and combines disparate datasets, manipulates data using computational and modelling expertise, and leverages well-established international development networks.