PlantVillage Wins $2 Million From Google To Advance Climate Action In Africa

PlantVillage Wins $2 Million From Google To Advance Climate Action In Africa - Carbon Herald
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PlantVillage, a project sponsored by Penn State University, received a $2 million grant from Google’s AI for Social Good program. The funds will be used to support PlantVillage’s work on developing accurate maps of dryland landscapes across the African continent.

The project, named PlantVillage Warrior View will be an enterprise-scale system that utilized PlantVillage’s existing AI-powered climate change information system. The work will help African pastoralists in arid drylands to adapt to climate change and restore their lands. 

“As the planet heats up, the dryland regions are the areas where we are seeing the greatest and most immediate impacts,” said David Hughes, founder of PlantVillage, Huck Chair in Global Food Security, and professor of entomology and of biology, Penn State.

The project will start with four Kenyan tribes­ — the Rendille, Samburu, Maasai and Turkana — but plans to further expand and include other indigenous communities across African drylands. 

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The project plans to collect data points with AI-powered smartphones connected to global satellites and then evaluate the extent to which the land is drying up. 

The PlantVillage team aims to improve 1 million hectares of land over the three years of grant funding.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, drylands cover more than 40% of the Earth’s land mass and are home to over three billion people, mostly in developing countries.

The PlantVillage project was launched in 2012 with support from the Huck Innovative and Transformational Seed fund, administered by Penn State. It is led by David Hughes and an international team. The project is also a winner of the 2022 XRPIZE Carbon Removal Competition. 

Read more: PlantVillage Wins $1M From XRPIZE For Expanding Carbon Sequestration In Africa

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