New requirements are defined for AfriCultuReS

Last November, a new users’ workshop about AfriCultuReS was held in Nairobi. It was hosted by LocateIT, one of the 17 entities that form part of the consortium for this project which aims to foster development in the African continent.

AfriculturesKenia

Those attending the workshop discussed new ways of making progress in this project, whose objective is to design, implement and validate operationally an integrated information system covering monitoring, analysis and early warning in order to help improve food production in Africa.

The event was attended by representatives from the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, the World Bank, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), the insurance company Jubilee Insurance, the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA), the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) and the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC), among other state agencies and academic institutions, together with experts in Earth observation, final users and potential clients.

Apart from this workshop held in Nairobi, similar events have taken place in Tunisia, Niger, Ghana, South Africa, Mozambique, Ruanda and Ethiopia. These workshops were attended by more than two hundred entities concerned about food production including national and local governments, representatives from multilateral bodies and from the private sector (banks, insurance companies, suppliers of agricultural inputs etc) plus those from the academic world, sectoral associations, ONGs and the civil society.

AfriCultuReS aims to tackle the problem of small farmers’ difficulties in accessing reliable information, that leverage improved decision making related to agricultural and/or livestock management whose purpose is production security through risk management, facilitating adjustment and resilience in the face of climate change. In general, AfriCultuReS, thanks to the integration of data from the European constellation of Sentinels from the Copernicus programme, together with field data, climate models, meteorological models and crop forecasting, will provide the information required for sustainable agricultural development, the management of natural resources, the conservation of biodiversity and the reduction of poverty in Africa.

AfriCultuReS is completely financed by the EU’s Horizon 2020 (grant agreement no. 774652) with a budget of 8.5 million euros. It commenced at the end of 2017 and will last for four years. The Consortium is formed by eight African entities and nine from Europe, all leaders in fields like climatology, meteorology, monitoring and modelling of crops, information technology, social sciences or Earth observation.