Traditional livestock herders, known as pastoralists, serve as the primary custodians of Tanzania’s grasslands - one of the most important ecosystems and a critical resource for addressing climate change. However changing climatic conditions, coupled with the limited field of vision when using traditional methods of finding pasture, has severely limited the predictive capacity of pastoralists in effectively managing herd movement. As a result, a typical household loses over a quarter of their livestock every year and rangelands continue to deteriorate.
Realizing that pastoralists could make more intelligent grazing decisions with better data, AfriScout was created. AfriScout is a mobile subscription service using satellite imagery and crowdsourced indigenous knowledge to aid pastoralists in making more informed grazing decisions that restore rangelands, improve food security, and help poor families with positive climate change coping mechanisms. The app acts as the “shepherds’ eye in the sky” helping to optimize climate-smart management of rangelands and the lives of the people and livestock that rely on them.
With the AfriScout grazing maps, a typical user experiences over $2,000 in improved value (i.e about $67 per cow). Beyond economic opportunity, AfriScout contributes to improve rangeland management, reduce conflict, and increase digital literacy. From an ecological perspective, users are able to practice more precise and effective rotational grazing--stimulating plant growth, fertilizing and enhancing the absorptive capacity of soil, and even aiding in seed dispersal and plant diversity.