KENYAN SCIENTIST AT SOUTH AFRICAN VARSITY INTRODUCES SOFTWARE TO PREDICT DROUGHT

Small-scale farmers will now be able to accurately predict drought conditions so that they are able to plan for it accordingly with the development of a software to predict droughts.

A Kenyan scientist with Central University of Technology (CUT) in Bloemfontein in South Africa’s Free State Province has developed the software which promises to offer affordable technology for small-scale farmers when it hits the market.

South Africa, for example, has been in the grip of a devastating drought which has also affected other parts of southern Africa.

Low maize yields have forced South Africa to import the staple food while thousands of animals have died, crippling many small-scale farmers who are struggling to recover because they cannot afford insurance.

The new technology will be a lifeline for farmers in South Africa, and elsewhere.

The CUT researcher, Dr Muthoni Masinde, says: “Farmers can use it by just downloading the app which they can use on whatever frequency to check the prediction.”

The software combines indigenous knowledge with data gathered by the weather station to predict drought. It is this innovation that recently earned Masinde a Young Woman in Science Award for 2016 from the Department of Science and Technology.

Next on her agenda is the establishment of a drought prediction centre at the CUT in the near future.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK