2020 Winner

The ClimaCell Locust Project

Kenya

If it was not for COVID-19, the locust crisis would be the most significant challenge facing Africa this decade. These epic swarms are putting millions at risk of famine, with pre-COVID-19 analysis predicting that over 42M people will face acute food insecurity this year. Weather is a critical driving force of locust evolution and behaviour, and thus should be an integral part of the response.

By the end of 2020, favourable weather conditions could lead to 400 times more locusts and cause USD8.5B in damage. The need for data-driven innovation to address this crisis has never been greater. Our solution could offer weather-related early warnings and actionable insights, enabling farmers to better prepare and secure their crops and income.

ClimaCell seeks to contribute to addressing the locust crisis with an innovative, 360-degree locust monitoring tool for use by public and private sector organizations critical to the response and local stakeholders impacted by locust.

Leveraging ClimaCell.co’s weather intelligence engine, our tool will be developed with end users and farmers to monitor all key aspects and share early warnings, increasing countries’ capacity to prepare and respond early and effectively.

The ClimaCell solution aims to complement ongoing existing efforts, led by the FAO, to improve country preparedness: early warning, surveillance, and rapid response systems.

The Inspire Challenge is an initiative to challenge partners, universities, and others to use CGIAR data to create innovative pilot projects that will scale. We look for novel approaches that democratize data-driven insights to inform local, national, regional, and global policies and applications in agriculture and food security in real time; helping people–especially smallholder farmers and producers–to lead happier and healthier lives.

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