Different decades have brought excitement about the potential for new technologies such as mobile phones to help to transform agriculture in developing countries. The use of space technology in agriculture is not a new phenomenon but in developing countries, the advances and impacts of ‘space for agriculture’ projects are not very well known. Space technology and the use of satellite earth observation data has great potential to benefit agriculture globally, especially in developing countries.
A new report written by Caribou Digital, ‘Space for Agriculture in Developing Countries’, provides an introduction to why and how space solutions can help to tackle issues such as low agricultural production, increasing demand for food and resources, extreme weather patterns and pest outbreaks caused by climate change and unsustainable use of natural resources in developing countries.
The report provides an overview of existing space for agriculture solutions and the different business models. Once the opportunity is outlined, the report also provides detailed next steps on how to go about developing or integrating a space for agriculture solution. The report is intended for different audiences with the primary audience being the development and agriculture sectors.
The International Partnership Programme (IPP) is a five year, £152 million programme run by the UK Space Agency. IPP focuses strongly on using the UK space sector’s research and innovation strengths to deliver a sustainable economic or societal benefit to emerging and developing economies around the world.
IPP is part of and is funded from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF): a £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK Government, which supports cutting-edge research and innovation on global issues affecting developing countries.
The projects within IPP span a variety of themes, including reducing deforestation, disaster response, land-use monitoring, reducing maritime problems and renewable energy.
33 projects have been commissioned to date run by a large variety of organisations across industry, academia and non-profit entities. UK and international organisations are involved in the project consortiums.