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New Satellites to Protect Agriculture in Africa Launched

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By Lawrence Audu
An early warning system that relies on satellites to provide an adequate response to a reality on the continent with a view to avoiding the devastation of African farmers’ crops has been developed by a team of researchers.
The mechanism proposed by these researchers is simple and innovative. The Pesticide Risk Information Service (PRISE) combines weather-related data and weather forecasts with computer-assisted simulations. He then sends the farmers an alert on their mobile phones so that they can make their arrangements to protect their crops or their plantations.
The proposed system hopes to help contribute effectively to increasing yields and farm incomes up to 20%. The PRISE system is being used in Kenya, Ghana and Zambia and will soon be deployed in other parts of the world.
PRIZE was inspired by the success of a British aid program offered by the Center for Agriculture and Bioscience International Development Charity (CABI). The latter is seeking the expertise of a network called “plant doctors” and advisory units to inform farmers when pests or diseases threaten their crops. “Doctors” use the stored data to diagnose the problem. This will allow them to better prescribe the right pesticides and other protective measures.
At the same time, a new initiative with CABI and the UK Space Agency (UKSA) will use the network to primarily prevent situations. The idea is to use satellite data collected by the UKSA to develop a system that can predict when pest infestations will occur one week or more in advance.
Satellites can provide accurate information on soil temperature, which is one of the main drivers of pest infestations.
These data, combined with meteorological data and computer models, can be used to give farmers enough time to spray pesticides and take other precautions.

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Support our journalism with a contribution of any size

Nigeria's media space is swamped with falsehood, deceit and delusion. Just a handful abides by the truth. TheNigerian is one of the unique platforms helping to shape the global narrative about Nigeria and her citizens across the world. It's quite costly to maintain this brand of journalism, however.

Readers from around the world, like you, make TheNigerian's work possible. We need your support to deliver quality, investigative journalism – and to keep it open for everyone. At a time when factual, honest reporting is critical, your support is essential in protecting our editorial independence. Every contribution, however big or small, is so valuable for our future.

Our brand of professional citizens' journalism requires a contribution from members of the public, patronage and sponsorship to thrive. We rely on this financial support to be able to carry out our numerous obligations of training, running cost, production, printing and general services. We also embark on Corporate Social Responsibilities through educational programs on our TV, newspaper and blogs.

Make a token donation to support us:
Account Name: Patriot and Sage Digital Communication Ltd
Account No: 1015619537
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