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6th Grain Awarded Grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for Pest and Disease Early Warning System

Fall armyworm system testing in Pune, India

6th Grain, a NASA Harvest partner and global provider of agricultural information technologies and remote sensing solutions, in collaboration with partners The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA), Syngenta and the African Development Bank, has been awarded a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to pilot an early warning system for Fall Armyworm (FAW) to be deployed to farmers in African nations.  

The 6th Grain system aims to give advance notice of invasive pests and disease outbreaks to farmers so they can deploy countermeasures in a timely, efficient and effective manner. The initial target will be small and medium-sized maize farmers in Southern Africa who have been affected by FAW. The invasive pest can travel long distances in short periods, can feed on a wide variety of crops, and are spreading in regions with poor feedback and reporting mechanisms, significantly affecting food production.

6th Grain will work with an existing network of retail agents, seed demonstration farms, and agronomists and leverage mobile tools in order to develop an early warning system that can be connected to an appropriate response to protect farmers’ crops. Using field data, satellite remote sensing, and weather data in machine learning pest models, 6th Grain will implement a suite of mobile tools to gather data necessary to identify and develop an interactive early warning system to provide information on local pest outbreaks. Partners such as SFSA will play a key role by helping to scale digital tools and services.  

About 6th Grain

6th Grain is a highly innovative and agile digital agriculture technology company with solutions being used by leading input suppliers and other AG holding companies in both low and high-income country settings. 6th Grain provides high quality, actionable intelligence that will guide focused marketing and infrastructure investments by agricultural companies in Europe, Africa and Asia.

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News Date
May 20, 2019