icipe MLN research recognised

9 – 13 May 2016, Praque, Czech Republic –  icipe’s research on the use of satellite data to map the severity of maize lethal necrosis (MLN) in Kenya earned significant recognition at the 2016 European Space Agency (ESA) Living Planet Symposium.

A paper titled: Mapping maize lethal necrosis severity in Kenya using multi-spectral high to moderate resolution satellite imagery, presented by Richard Kyalo et al.,was selected as the most innovative out of more than 1500 oral paper presentations made at the Symposium. Richard is a PhD Candidate in the icipe Geo-Information Unit.

The paper presented findings of the research, which show the possibility of using time-series and multi-sensor satellite data (with permissible spatial resolutions) to monitor the spatial distribution of MLN disease infestation rates in small scale farms in western Kenya. Satellite data on MLN severity could complement field efforts and lead to more synoptic and wide-area information on where intervention efforts need to be prioritised. If MLN severity maps are combined with other crop productivity constraints information data feeds (such as droughts and soil fertility), decision making in regard to farmers’ risks and ultimately food security can be significantly improved.

This research is funded through a small grant from the Advisory Service on Agricultural Research for Development (BEAF), run by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.The Remote Sensing Department of the University of Wuerzburg, in cooperation with the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), was the German collaborator in this project.

For further information please contact Tobias Landmann (tlandmann@icipe.org) or Richard Kyalo (rkyalo@icipe.org).

icipe MLN research recognised
Richard Kyalo (left), icipe Geo-Information Unit, and Michael Thiel, Remote Sensing Department, University of Wuerzburg, inspecting MLN affected maize fields in Bomet, Rift Valley province, Kenya.

icipe MLN research recognised
Satellite derived mapping result from an area in Bomet county, Rift Valley province, Kenya, showing various MLN infestation rates in maize fields in blue (moderately infested) and red (severely infested).