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Piloting different technologies for real-time monitoring of Fall Armyworm in Kenya

As part of a joint collaboration between Rothamsted Research, ICIPE and our commercial partners Trapview and Cosmonio we recently reviewed three different technologies for real-time monitoring of fall armyworm in Kenya. These were:

  • Digital pheromone traps
  • Offline mobile phone app
  • Vertical looking radar

The results and data are available in the project technical report. In summary, we saw huge potential for digital pheromone traps although this technology needs to be adapted for use by smallholder farmers. The app was considered useful for helping with identification in some circumstances, but few farmers could afford the data cost associated with sending sightings back to the research team. The vertical looking radar has huge potential, especially if integrated with dual-polarised weather radar, but requires a significant investment in research development before it can realistically be deployed in the field.

The pilot project was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It was made possible by extensive support from KALRO, Cropnuts, the University of Helsinki and multiple Kenyan farmers who assisted with the pilot.


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Geoffrey Anyanda
Geoffrey Anyanda (@geoffrey-nyapom)
2 years ago

Hello Pearson
To my knowledge this is the first time, monitoring network comprising of radar, pheromone traps, machine learning and decision support apps have been established in SSA. This is impressive work, it provides a baseline for adoption and a more realistic development of digital monitoring in SSA.

2 years ago

Thank you Aislinn for highlighted three of our dreams technologies in IPM. Many years ago such technologies were tested against Red Palm Weevil in the GCC but no one has been achieved a satisfied results. Digital pheromone traps and offline application are more easier to develop, however Radar and even drone can’t detect early infestation as well as the last three larval instars.

Tjiyapo Velempini
Tjiyapo Velempini (@tjiyapo)
2 years ago

Good Day Pearson

It is now an imperative that Mobile Apps be integrated into the scouting, identification and mapping of sightings by farmers / extension officers across the spectrum. From the rural, small holder to commercial farmers. Will
be interested in looking at current App and see how it can be improved to support future research and deployment.