Kenyan scientist Muthoni Masinde created an app that predicts droughts


The mobile app ITKI (Information Technology and Indigenous Knowledge) created by the Kenyan computer scientist Muthoni Masinde is combining weather station data with the traditional knowledge of African farmers to predict droughts.

Masinde says most African farmers can better relate to the traditional knowledge that is also used to formulate the platform’s predictions.

ITIKI employs young people in farming communities to gather photos and updates about animal behavior and local vegetation. The app then collates this information with data from local weather stations to model weather patterns months in advance.

The service can be subscribed to for just a few cents, and one receive regular updates in their local language.

Many African countries are indeed vulnerable to climate change and small-scale farmers could face poverty and food insecurity, according to UN climate experts.

ITIKI is now used by more than 15,000 farmers in Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa. Since farmers started using the app their crop yields have increased by an average of 11%, according to the scientist.

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