“Saying ‘oh, there is a locust in northern Kenya’ does not help at all,” Mr Kresman said. “In real time, we need longitude-latitude coordinates.”
Instead of trying to recycle locust tracking software for newer tablets, Mr. Cresman thought it would be more effective to create a simple smartphone app that would allow anyone to collect data like an expert. He reached out to Dr. Hughes, who had already set up a similar mobile tool with the Food and Agriculture Organization to use his PlantVillage to detect pests of fall crops.
The PlantVillage app uses artificial intelligence և machine learning to help farmers in 60 countries, primarily in Africa, diagnose problems in their fields. Borrowing from this project, Dr. Hughes և and his colleagues completed a new project, eLocust3m, in just one month.
Unlike the previous tablet app, anyone with a smartphone can use eLocust3m. The app features photos of locusts at different stages of their life cycles, helping users diagnose what they see in the field. GPS coordinates are automatically recorded, և algorithms double check the photos submitted with each entry. Garmin International also helped another program that was working on satellite transmitters.
“The app is really easy to use,” said PlantVillage’s ep. Last year, he recruited locusts in four severely affected areas of Kenya. “We had scouts who were 40-50 years old, they could even use it.”
Over the past year, more than 240,000 locusts have been spilled from East Africa, collected by PlantVillage scouts, government-trained personnel and citizens. But that was only the first step. Countries later had to act systematically on data to crush locusts. However, in the first few months, the officials were pursuing a strategy “with envelopes,” said Mr. According to Kresman, the whole region had only four planes to spray pesticides.
When Batian Craig, director of 51 Degrees, a security and logistics company focused on wildlife conservation, saw Mr. Cressman quote from a locust, he realized he could help.