Blessings Likagwa has a passion for farming. The 29-year-old farmer from Kasungu, Malawi was recently recognized by the 2019 MAIZE Youth Innovators Awards – Africa for his work using data from drones to implement climate smart improvements on his maize farm, and inspiring other local farmers to do the same. Blessings is the first ever winner in the “farmer” category of the awards.
These awards, an initiative of the CGIAR Research Program on
Maize (MAIZE), recognize the contributions of young women and men below 35
years of age who are implementing innovations in African maize-based farming
systems. This is the second year of the awards, and the first time to be held
in Africa. The award ceremony took place in Lusaka, Zambia during the annual
Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) project meeting May 7-9, 2019.
Multispectral and thermal images taken by cameras on unmanned aerial
vehicles (UAVs) are helping researchers to monitor the resistance of maize to
A new study from researchers at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) can reduce challenges associated with plant disease assessment in the field. By deploying cameras mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that capture image information from non-visible sections of the electromagnetic spectrum, the interdisciplinary team demonstrated the effectiveness of remote sensing technologies in maize disease phenotyping.
“Plant disease resistance assessment in the field is
becoming difficult because the breeders’ trials are becoming larger, the trials
have to be conducted in multiple locations, and because sometimes there is a
lack of highly trained personnel who can evaluate the diseases,” said Francelino
Rodrigues, CIMMYT Precision Agriculture Specialist and co-lead author of the
study. “In addition, the disease notes taken in the field by a human eye can
vary from person to person depending on the persons’ experience.”