Our aim is food security in Africa

AfriCultuReS is a European H2020 project


In memoriam


With deep sadness we received the news of the sudden demise of our AfriCultuReS partner and friend Erick Khamala. Erick was not only a driving force between the AfriCultuReS project, but also a real ambassador for geospatial technology in Africa and beyond. We will miss his kindness, initiative, creativity, professionalism and great personality. Our thoughts are with Erick’s family and close friends. We are greatly thankful for what Erick has done for us. We know that Erick’s strong faith will help us in these difficult times.

Please find the obituary published by GMES and Africa below:

Obituary: Erick Khamala

Posted: 11 Feb 2019 01:35 AM PST

The GMES and Africa Coordinator, Dr. Tidiane Ouattara, and the entire GMES and Africa team, regret to announce the untimely death of Mr. Erick Khamala, Managing Director of LocateIT, a private GIS and EO company based in Nairobi, Kenya. Mr. Khamala died on Thursday 7 February 2019 in Mauritius, where he was carrying out an EO private sector survey on behalf of the African Union Commission. 

Mr. Khamala was a passionate advocate and promoter of EO in Africa. GMES and Africa extends heartfelt condolences to his family and the entire EO fraternity.
Mr. Khamala's family has started a fundraiser for his funeral.

A WhatsApp group has also been created by his family for those who want to pay tribute to him.

May his soul rest in peace

Marketing Toolkit

First version of AfriCultuReS marketing toolkit available! 

The AfriCultuReS marketing toolkit on Earth observation for agriculture and food security provides an overview of, and basic information on, Earth observation applications for agriculture and contextual information on agriculture and food security. The marketing toolkit consists of a presentation and a literature reference list.

click on the picture


Literature reference list click

Additional literature list click

Associated report click

Article Horizon magazine

Europe’s eyes in the sky

“Europe’s eyes in the sky are helping to solve energy, land-use problems in Africa”
is the title of an article (by Aisling Irwin) in Horizon magazine, in which AfriCultuReS participants Juan Suárez, Issa Garba and Mark Noort give their views on achieving food security in Africa with the help of satellite data.

Second project meeting

Second project meeting

The AfriCultuReS project held its second progress meeting in November 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa, organised by SANSA. The meeting focused on the analysis of user needs that were identified in the regional stakeholder requirement workshops and how to match these with technical solutions based on satellite information to achieve maximum impact for food security.



Project meeting

First project meeting

The AfriCultuReS project held its first project meeting at the premises of the coordinator, GMV, near Madrid, Spain, on April 19 and 20. Apart from progress during the first six months of the project and technical aspects, the discussions focussed on cross-cutting issues, such as climate change, user needs and gender. Now it is time to start the development of solutions that contribute to food security for the eight project regions in Africa, which will be tested first in the form of pilot projects. We will keep you posted on developments!

2nd Workshop FS-TEP

Food Security Thematic Exploitation Platform

Juan Suárez presented the AfriCultuReS project during the 2nd workshop of the Food Security Thematic Exploitation Platform, FS-TEP, an initiative supported by ESA (held in Frascati, Italy, from March 5 -7).

Juan stressed the importance of involving all stakeholders: with its strong presence in Africa and participation of African partners, AfriCultuReS can cooperate with the FS-TEP partners in pilot cases and applications.



AfriCultuReS has started!

The kick-off meeting was held in Addis Ababa on November 23 and 24, 2017, organized jointly by GMV, the project coordinator, and GeoSAS, the host.

There were opening speeches of His Excellency Dr. Seleshi Bekele, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity of Ethiopia, Dr. Franz Immler, Head of the sector Climate Action of the Executive Agency for SMEs of the European Commission, and Dr. Tidiane Outtara, Head of the GMES & Africa Support Programme Unit of the African Union.

See also:
Supporting farmers in Africa with European Earth Observation technology
GMES and AFRICA participates in AfriCultuReS H2020 kick-off meeting


Dr. Seleshi Bekele

His Excellency
Dr. Seleshi Bekele

The Honourable Minister indicated that food security and agriculture are among the most pressing priorities for Africa. Many Ethiopians depend on agriculture and it is the most important economic activity. Agriculture, however, faces a number of challenges: developmental, environmental and disasters, such as drought and erratic rainfall. A concerted effort of all stakeholders is needed to successfully achieve sustainable agricultural development.


Dr. Franz Immler

Opening by Dr. Franz Immler

Dr. Franz Immler opened the AfriCultuReS project on behalf of EASME and DG RTD Earth observation section
(Directorate-General for Research and Innovation).
He highlighted the main elements of the H2020 programme (the Research and Innovation programme of the European Union that runs from 2014 to 2020), with its three pillars of excellent science, industrial leadership and societal challenges, and the division of responsibilities with respect to supervision and support of implementation.


Dr. Tidiane Ouattara

The importance of food security

Dr. Ouattara outlined the importance of food security for Africa. The AfriCultuReS project is therefore very relevant.
The approach of AfriCultuReS is innovative, by involving the end-users and stakeholders. In the past 20 years the Earth observation community has worked too much in isolation.


EuroGEOSS launch

AfriCultuReS in the EuroGEOSS launch

The AfriCultuReS project was presented as one of the example projects in the EuroGEOSS launch event that was organized in the week of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), held in Washington DC from October 23 – 26, 2017.
Professor Pierre Defourny of the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium highlighted AfriCultuReS in his presentation on the EuroGEOSS agricultural pilot.

More information on EuroGEOSS


AfriCultuReS user requirements stakeholder workshops

Workshops were held in Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique and South Africa to assess user needs related to Earth observation for food security. The photos below give an impression of the workshops. Additional workshops are scheduled for Tunisia and Niger.

The Business Daily wrote an article on the stakeholder workshop held in Kenya:
“Timely data will unlock farming potential, tech experts advise”.

Workshop participants Kenya

Workshop participants Ghana

Workshop participants South Africa

Workshop participants Rwanda

Workshop participants working in groups, Mozambique




03 - 05/07 EuroGEOSS Workshop
Lisbon, Portugal
more information..
27 - 29/05 GEO Work Programme Symposium
Geneva, Switzerland
more information..
23 - 25/04 GEO Data Technology Workshop
Vienna, Austria
more information..
02 - 04/04 Geospatial World Forum
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
more information..
13 - 17/03

Living Planet Symposium
Milan, Italy
more information..



12 - 13/02

EuroGEOSS Sprint to Ministerial, First Meeting
Brussels, Belgium



11/12 Sapienza in International Development: strategies, projects, initiatives
Rome, Italy
more information..
28 - 30/11 G-STIC 2018 - Global Sustainable Technology & Innovation Conference
Brussels, Belgium
more information..
28 - 30/11 Writeshop: Development of Grant Proposals for the Intra-ACP Climate Services Programme
Brussels, Belgium
27 -30/11 2nd International Conference on Citizen Observatories for natural disasters and Water Management (COWM)
Venice, Italy
more information..
27/11 EuropeAid Infopoint Conference on e-Weather/e-Climate Information Services for Sustainable Development in Africa
Brussels, Belgium
more information..
19 - 23/11 1st GMES & Africa User Forum
Libreville, Gabon
more information..

29/10 - 02/11

GEO Week 2018
Kyoto, Japan
more information..

22 - 26/10 12th AARSE Conference
Alexandria, Egypt
more information..
24 - 28/09 13th EUMETSAT User Forum in Africa
Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
more information..
18 - 21/09 INSPIRE Conference,
Antwerp, Belgium
more information..
12 - 14/09 EuroGEOSS Workshop,
University of Geneva and the Museum of Ethnography,
Geneva, Switzerland
more information..
23 - 27/07 IGARSS 2018 ,
International Geoscience and
Remote Sensing Symposium: 
Observing, Understanding and
Forecasting the Dynamics of our Planet
Valencia, Spain
more information..
22 - 29/06 AfriGEOSS Symposium,
Libreville, Gabon
more information..
11 - 13/06 GEO Work Programme Symposium & GEO Climate Workshop,
Geneva, Switzerland
more information Work Programme Symposium..
more information Climate Workshop..
15 - 16/05 IFC Global Agribusiness Conference: Innovations for Smallholder Supply Chains,
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
more information..
07 - 11/05 GEOGLAM-RAPP + UN-SDG + Open Data Cube Workshop,
Nairobi, Kenya
more information..
02 - 04/05 3rd GEO Data Providers Workshop,
Frascati, Italy
more information..
17 - 19/04 GIS for a Sustainable World,
Campus Biotech,
Geneva, Switzerland
more information..
17 - 19/04 7th Digital Earth Summit,
El Jadida, Morocco
more information..


Pilot areas

Selection of pilot areas and Earth observation application topics (poster GEO week Kyoto, Japan)


Spatial detail

Comparison of the spatial detail between a MODIS LAI image (a) and a downscaled LAI image (b) for the Umbeluzi study area (Mozambique)



Downscaling of MODIS LAI data
Presentation in IGARSS 2018

The International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium is a premier event in remote sensing and provides an ideal forum for obtaining up-to-date information about the latest developments, exchanging ideas, identifying future trends and networking with the international geoscience and remote sensing community. This year it is taking place in Valencia, Spain, with the theme "Understanding and Forecasting the Dynamics of our Planet" (https://igarss2018.org/).

Partner AUTH is presenting "Spatial enhancement of MODIS Leaf Area Index (LAI) using regression analysis with Landsat Vegetation Index". The aim of this study was to enhance the spatial resolution of the MODIS LAI product using a downscaling model that combines Enhanced Vegetation Index and LAI images from the two satellites. The results show that it is possible to use this methodology to reliably estimate LAI at a 30m spatial resolution across various climates and ecosystems, thus supporting a food security early warning system.

The presentation is on Friday 27 July 2018, 9:30am.

First project meeting


From large to small or from small to large?

Lessons from the use of mobile apps and geodata apps for smallholder farmers


Satellite and geodata applications for smallholder agriculture are quite new, more general apps for smallholders that make use of mobile technology are around a bit longer. A number of these mobile initiatives have been evaluated (have a look at www.gsma.com) and it is interesting to look at the finding to see where geodata and mobile apps could complement each other, also with an eye on new application fields, such as (inclusive) finance.


Zero hunger

AfriCultuReS contibutes to SDG 2 Zero Hunger



Juan Suarez, Business Development Manager at GMV, Spain
“Excited to coordinate such an exceptional group of people working together to meet the challenge of improving food security in Africa.”

Mark Noort, Director at HCP international, the Netherlands
"The SBAM (Satellite Based Agricultural Monitoring) project, funded by Italian Space agency and covering Kenya, is very much in line with the objectives of AfriCultuReS!" (http://sbam.psm.uniroma1.it/)

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 774652