The Power of Satellite Data
By using satellite imagery, assessing and monitoring of agricultural production becomes much easier — be it single fields, or entire landscapes. It is a powerful tool for spatial information on the land’s condition and to increase productivity. You can compute decades of archived data to add a historical perspective to your analysis and to understand the reaction of land ecosystems to external impacts and project interventions. It provides valuable information for rural and remote areas, helping agricultural planning and implementing officers working in government bodies or project planners in non-governmental or development cooperation organizations with capacity development.
“ […] food production must grow substantially for meeting the world’s future food security and sustainability needs. At the same time, agriculture’s environmental footprint must shrink dramatically. Remote sensing can significantly contribute to providing a timely and accurate picture of the agricultural sector, as it is very suitable for gathering information over large areas with high revisit frequency.”
(Clement Atzberger, Remote Sensing 2013, 5(2), 949-981)
The European Earth Observation program “Copernicus” and its satellite fleet, the “Sentinels”, are a major asset to monitor also fragmented agricultural landscapes with small-scale farming in Africa or Asia. The data being “free and open”, Copernicus provides various thematic maps, for example of the land cover or state of the vegetation. Freeware and cloud computing solutions make the data also accessible to users who do not have huge computing capacities available to them and thus providing a suitable basis for initiating long-term monitoring applications and project evaluations.
Is this relevant to you?
This presentation is designed for project staff and decision makers in projects concerned with agricultural monitoring. You won’t need previous experience with remote sensing analysis to follow the presentation.
What will be your takeaway?
You will learn how to use satellite-based solutions to get insights to the state and changes of agricultural land, and how you can use this technology to assess agricultural projects or support projects addressing the sustainable development goals relating to food security.
Fabian Löw, Managing Partner of MapTailor Geospatial Consulting in Bonn, Germany. Maptailor.net provides earth observation solutions and consultancy for international project partners, such as the International Center of Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) of CGIAR or GIZ in Africa and Asia.