Pest risk information service helps 1.8m farmers achieve 1:182 return on investment
For smallholder farmers who rely on crops for food and income, pest outbreaks are devastating. However, the Pest Risk Information SErvice (PRISE) is helping farmers to prepare for outbreaks using a pest alert system. In 2021, a report on PRISE’s achievements and impact showed the service had reached over 1.8 million farmers in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Zambia since 2017. Smallholders have increased their yields by an average of 13% compared with control group farmers and, overall, the project has achieved a return on investment of 1:182.
Pest outbreaks are devastating to smallholder farmers who rely on crops for food and income. In today’s changing climate, the threat of pest outbreaks is worsening. As temperatures increase and weather patterns alter, migrations of pests are becoming harder to predict. Many smallholders lack access to information that would help them prepare.
But the Pest Risk Information SErvice (PRISE) is changing this story. Created by a consortium of experts in 2017, PRISE is a forecasting system that allows farmers and others working in agriculture to better prepare for pest outbreaks. The service provides farmers with information alerts about the best time to take action to manage pests. This helps their pest management activities become more effective and efficient.
In 2021, PRISE reported on its achievements and impact. Since 2017, the service has reached over 1.8 million farmers in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Zambia. Smallholders increased their yields by an average of 13% compared with control group farmers. Overall, the project has achieved a return on investment of 1:182.
And when it comes to managing the infamous fall armyworm pest, 59% of farmers who received PRISE alerts changed their practices based on the recommendations made.
PRISE is the first of its kind and a valuable tool in the fight against climate change. The technology supports sustainable agriculture by helping smallholders take earlier action, reducing their reliance on harmful pest control products such as chemical pesticides.
The PRISE consortium is already looking at ways in which this adaptable and flexible service could be applied to other climate risks. The datasets and platform can be re-used for applications such as crop mapping and modelling and other early warning systems such as flood and drought alerts.
CABI has developed a number of core skills which will ensure it achieves its strategic goals.
- Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI), Zambia – International partner
- Plant Protection & Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD), Ghana – International partner
- Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Kenya – International partner
- Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Kenya – International partner
- Department for Agricultural Extension Services (DAES), Malawi – International partner
- Centre for Environmental Data Analysis – Project consortium
- Assimila – Project consortium