Mauritania will soon be testing drones to fight back against the swarms of desert locusts damaging farmers’ crops and livelihoods. The test is thanks to the United Nations, which is hoping to minimize the damages caused by the desert locusts.
The tests are being run by a joint operation between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the National Centre for Desert Locust Control.
A source told the BBC that the drones will be used to monitor and track the locusts and initiate an early warning system, ensuring the least damage is done to the farmer’s crops.
The drones will track and monitor desert locusts and instigate early-warning operations before the swarms arrive so that appropriate action can be taken.
Along with the drones, five teams of 10 explorers will be deployed within the areas where locusts are known to breed, which will also help with the impact on farmers and communities once the locusts swarm. These teams will be deployed for 21 days and consist of members from Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Chad, Libya, Mali, and Tunisia.
This round of testing will explore whether the drones are suitable for use within Mauritania, and if all goes well, it will allow them to be used in other countries affected by the desert locusts.
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Photo: Joel Sartore