By Jennifer Johnson
Lokwa Mila Giresse was concerned when he first heard of the challenges maize farmers in his native Democratic Republic of the Congo were facing due to the fall armyworm, an invasive insect pest from the Americas that has been steadily munching its way across Africa since it was first reported on the continent in 2016. The pest presents a major threat to food security in Africa since it feeds on over 80 different crop species but shows a particular preference for maize – a key staple crop in the region. Lokwa turned to technology to help farmers find a solution to the problem, developing the Mobile Agribiz App that can help farmers diagnose and monitor fall armyworm infestation in maize. He was recently recognized for his tech savvy work by the 2019 MAIZE Youth Innovators Awards – Africa, which he won in the category of “change agent”.