Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
DMC International Imaging used in locust risk prediction in Africa
April 9th, 2013 by Susan Smith
DMC International Imaging (DMCii) is in the business of helping The Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) to predict the spread of locust plagues across North Africa. This effort is part of an aggressive approach to tackle the age-old problem of locust infestation using satellite imagery.
North Africa is subjected to locust plagues every year that threaten to decimate crops and endanger countries’ food security. The satellite imagery collected can be used to assess vegetation conditions, information that can help predict where locust breeeding grounds are located. The imagery, from the UK-DMC2 satellite, paired with weather data, helps create locust forecasts and help formulate the application of pesticides so that swarms cannot spread.
A summer campaign last year lasting six months was designed to fight the locust infestation. During this time, DMCii acquired monthly images of regions in Southern Algeria, Northern Mali and Northern Niger for ASAL. This year they are collecting imagery before the summer season begins, to predict as well as monitor the locust threat.
Mr Karim Houari, International Cooperation Director of the Algerian Space Agency commented: “The use of satellite imagery has helped us in the past, during the invasion period, to identify and control areas at risk of locust swarms. This year, in terms of locust risk prediction in remission period, we used DMCii data for the ecological assessment of locust breeding areas (biotopes). It is an important contribution for the rationalisation of local response and to reduce damage of this destructive phenomenon.”