Earth observation for food security in South Africa
The third AfriCultuReS workshop was held on Tuesday February 22 with special attention for the AfriCultuReS platform on Earth observation for food security: https://africultures-platform.eu/
the open source platform, the visualisation, the easy access and that the platform is a one stop shop for Earth observation dedicated to agriculture. The availability of time series with good frequency and the integration of different types of information are also strong points. The platform is considered a great enabler for capacity building.
Navigation was sometimes difficult and the resolution too coarse for specific applications. A user manual, demonstration videos and tutorials were recommended. The download functionality, webmap links and the legend description could be improved.
For rangeland health, which is the AfriCultuReS use case for South Africa, a layer indicating the browsing and grazing capacity could be added. All in all the availability of high resolution data for your own area of interest with already validated products was assessed as very positive.
AfriCultuReS South Africa services demo
AfriCultuReS South Africa platform demo
User workshop 17th September 2019
The first of the AfriCultuReS 2019 User Workshops was held at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria on 17th September. Organised by the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), this workshop brought together representatives from government departments, research institutions, agribusiness and private enterprise to discuss the progress of the AfriCultuReS project and the priority capacity development needs in South Africa.
Workshop discussions illuminated the vibrant Earth Observation for Sustainable Development scene existing in South Africa, and how important it is for new projects to understand this scene in order to avoid replicating existing products. Workshop participants stressed the importance of engaging with stakeholders at all stages of the value chain associated with a new agricultural application based on satellite earth observation, from product developers to the farmers themselves. Participants also discussed potential business models for new applications based on satellite earth observation in South Africa – all participants had witnessed projects which collapsed after initial funding had run out, and so financial sustainability was a key concern.
Capacity development priorities identified for South Africa included raising of awareness about the value of satellite earth observation among all stakeholders, for example through training-of-trainers workshops and dissemination of success stories. Participants also highlighted the challenges of disseminating information in rural South African contexts, particularly to poorer and otherwise marginalised farmers, and suggested a need to use communication strategies such as radio and SMS in local languages for information sharing.
Our thanks to SANSA and particularly to Nosiseko Mashiyi and Mahlatse Kganyago for leading the organisation of the workshop, and to all the workshop participants for sharing their time and experience.
AfriCultuReS user requirements stakeholder workshops
In 2018 workshops were held in Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique and South Africa to assess user needs related to Earth observation for food security.
Workshop participants South Africa