Guest Author: Kenneth Chepkwony, Kenarava Group Ltd

The newly-launched Project Locust convened an expert meeting on August 11, 2021 to gather insights from experienced first responders and relevant stakeholders at the forefront of fighting the world’s most destructive migratory pest – the desert locust.

Themed “Let’s Beat The Desert Locust Together”, the event was organized by Project Locust partners, including TomorrowNow.org, Kenarava Group, Digital Green and The Bug Picture, as the first step towards building a farmer-first solution to Desert Locust infestations, driven by weather intelligence.

The event took an interactive approach through three sessions that began with identifying the gaps and areas of opportunity for supporting on-farm farmer Desert Locust preparedness and engagement. 

The second and third sessions converged expert feedback on the Project Locust approach, and established practical actions to ensure that the entire Desert Locust response community worked together.

Some of the experts who participated in the meeting include Hamisi Williams (Assistant Country Representative Kenya at United Nations FAO), Ambrose Ngetich (Field Officer at FAO Kenya), Boniface Akuku (ICT Director at KALRO), Emma Mwangi (Agriculture and Climate Researcher at Kenya Red Cross), Dr. Chrysantus Tanga (Research Scientist at ICIPE), James Egonyu (Scientist at ICIPE), Annalyse Kehs (Executive Director of PlantVillage), Dr. Dino Martins (Entomologist at Mpala Research Center), and Dr. Yoav Motro (Pest Specialist and Advisor to the Israeli Government on Desert Locust)

The Consensus: Weather Intelligence and Farmer-First Desert Locust Response

The team of experts lauded Project Locust’s farmer-first approach of combining weather intelligence and digital tools in ensuring that the local farmer participates in the decision-making process of building a climate-smart Desert Locust response system.

Here are some memorable quotes from the meeting:

Want to join/contribute to our ongoing conversation? Check out the #WeatherTheSwarm hashtag on all social media platforms.

About Project Locust

We are a multistakeholder team who are working together to build a climate action system aimed at delivering community-based, localized insights that will provide millions of farmers with the ability to be better prepared, make crop-saving decisions and directly benefit from desert locust infestations.

We are leveraging:

Project Locust won the Inspire Prize 2020 by CGIAR Platform for Big Data, is supported by ICARDA and also funded by JDC Grid.

Want to Learn More? 

We are just getting started, and there are plenty of ways to learn more and get involved.