UK supercomputer gives African farmers early warning of pests and blights  


While millions of people go hungry around the world, 40 per cent of crops are decimated by pests and diseases. But British scientists believe they have found a solution and it comes, in part, from space. 

The Pest Risk Information Service (Prise) uses data from satellites and weather stations to predict when disease or pest infestations will hit crops, giving farmers much needed time to prepare.

The project, part funded by the UK Space Agency and UKAid, uses a supercomputer in Oxfordshire called Jasmin to analyse the various data streams and provide weekly pest forecasts. 

Already in use in Ghana, Kenya and Zambia, Prise is due to be rolled out in Malawi and Rwanda in early 2019. Scientists hope that the early warning system can increase both yields and incomes for farmers by at least 10…

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