The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has developed the eLocust3m application to improve early warning through rapid detection, surveillance and monitoring of locust outbreaks. The eLocust3m app latest version was launched in February 2020, and allows for a broader community of people to be involved in the collection of data.
Some 30 agricultural extension officers in Namibia, specifically, from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform were recently trained on the use of the app. They were also acquainted with skills to operate the mobile phone application as a means to strengthen their locust monitoring and control efforts.
“The eLocust3m application will help us to assess the current situation on the ground and to warn us of the likelihood of an invasion,” Margaret Matengu, Chief Agricultural Extension Officer of the Directorate of Agricultural Production, Extension and Engineering Services within the MAWLR told economist.com.na.
Namibia has been battling the African migratory locust outbreak and other two locust species – the Red Locust and the Brown Locust – known to have swarmed and damaged grazing in southern parts of the country. The food security and livelihoods of thousands of smallholder households are under threat.
The app is suitable for difficult and remote locations where monitoring can be a challenge and is designed for use in areas with no Internet connection, and can also be utilized by community members and smallholder farmers to report locust sightings.