The global agriculture sector faces many challenges from climate change to population growth, hunger and malnutrition to depleting natural resources. The unique benefit that space solutions provide is global, repeatable, accurate and scalable data that form part of the solution to the major challenges facing the agriculture sector today, in both developed and developing countries.
Space solutions address these challenges through:
- Increase production – Earth observation improves the accuracy and relevance of decision support tools and affordability of credit products.
- Improve supply chain efficiency to reduce losses – Earth observation enables supply chain optimisation.
- Sustainable management of environmental resources – Earth observation improves the range of decision support tools for resource management.
- Resilience to climate change – Earth observation improves the accuracy of early warning systems and affordability of insurance.
Many global initiatives utilise space in the agricultural sector in developing countries:
International Partnership Programme: A UK Space Agency initiative that uses the UK Space sector’s research and innovation strengths to deliver a sustainable, economic and societal benefit to undeveloped nations and developing economies. IPP has six agricultural projects.
EO4SD Agriculture and Rural Development Cluster: A European Space Agency initiative aims at demonstrating the benefits of EO-based geo-information products and services to support agricultural monitoring and management tasks.
Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW): Improves food security in developing countries by using satellite data. Netherlands Space Office (NSO) is executing this programme, commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.