Selina Wamucii, a pan-African marketplace, has launched Kuzi, an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered tool, to help farmers across Africa to predict and control locust attacks.

Kuzi uses satellite data, soil sensor data, ground meteorological observation, and machine-learning to predict the breeding, occurrence, migration routes and swarm formations of desert locusts across the horn of African and Eastern African countries.

Upon collection of this data, Kuzi then sends farmers and pastoralists free SMS alerts 2-3 months prior to likely locust attacks on their farms and livestock in their areas. Without preventative measures, a swarm of 80 million locusts can consume food equivalent to that eaten by 35,000 people a day, devastating food stocks for vulnerable communities.

Early detection and control measures are critical in desert locust management, and will offer farmers and pastoralists a vital tool in the fight against world hunger and food insecurity.

Kuzi alerts are currently available for Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, and Uganda, in the regional languages of Kiswahili, Somali and Amharic, spoken by over 200 million people across Eastern Africa.

“The first international anti-locust conference was held in Rome in 1931 and yet Africa continues to experience locust invasions almost 100 years later, with the worst locust invasion in 70 years occurring in 2020, threatening food supplies for millions of people across Eastern Africa. There has to be a better way to do this, one that has the local communities being central in the fight against locusts,” said John Oroko, CEO of Kuzi’s creator, Selina Wamucii.

Kuzi is currently available free of charge to users in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda. Plans to roll out to cover the rest of Africa are underway.

Farmers can sign up for the free of charge SMS alerts using any mobile device, with or without an internet connection.