Dr. Muthoni Masinde with trophy and certificate

Distinguished Young Women Researchers: Dr. Muthoni Masinde

Securing Water for Food Round 4 innovator, Dr. Muthoni Masinde, was awarded the Research and Innovation award from the 2016 Distinguished Women in Science hosted  by the RSA’s Department of Science.

Using her expertise in computer science, Masinde has now developed a tool to make predicting drought easier for Africa’s small-scale farmers by combining traditional know-how with scientific weather data.

Her inspiration for this technology comes from the value rural farmers place on observing the environment and its rhythms to grow their crops.

Rain-fed agriculture accounts for over 70 percent of food production

“I was motivated by the realisation that in most African countries, rain-fed agriculture still accounted for over 70 percent of food production,” Masinde told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Her technology allows farmers to feed their observations into a mobile phone. Computer science models are then able to use the data to predict short-term to long-term droughts in farmers areas.


The full article can be found here.

Dr. Muthoni Masinde is featured in a video from the 2016 Distinguished Women in Science event found here.

USAID, Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Government of South Africa, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands provide this innovator with funding and technical assistance.