New mobile app could help African farmers in a changing climate

New mobile app could help African farmers in a changing climate

A new app has been developed to help farmers on the continent choose the right type of plants in response to climate change.

The app, called African Tree Finder, has been developed by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), and currently helps identify 80 tree species for specific agricultural uses. These include human consumption, wood production and medicinal uses.

The organisation has spent the past seven years collecting data from satellites, soil, weather stations and local knowledge for use in the app. Its information currently covers the east African countries of Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia.

Peter Minang, at ICRAF, told Thomson Reuters:

"In African dry areas, there is a very tight margin around which trees may be impacted by climate change. However, if temperatures increase by say two degrees Celsius, there is a likelihood that some species may not survive".

He added:

"But even today we keep modifying the map based on new behaviours…and how they evolve and respond to changing climatic conditions" 

Agroforestry is seen as a simple and effective way of managing land in a way which both produces crops and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The practice intentionally combines the uses of crops and trees for both environmental and economic benefit.

New technologies like the app could be crucial in the future for economies which are heavily reliant on agriculture, but also need to reduce their carbon emissions.

 

Learn more about this revolutionary approach to food security at the Climate Smart Agriculture Congress on the 6 – 7th March 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya. Hosted by the Aid & International Development Forum (AIDF), this summit will look into innovative financing, capacity building, partnerships and the use of technology to advance climate-smart agriculture practices in the African region. Find out more and register your attendance here: http://csa-africa.aidforum.org

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Image Credit: Melinda Pack

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