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Towards addressing food security in Africa using space technologies; AfriCultuReS progress meeting begins today

Enhancing Food Security in African AgriCultural Systems with the support of Remote Sensing (AfriCultuReS) is a European H2020 project with a Budget of about 8.5 million Euros (€8,531,533) which started on 01/11/2017 with an estimated duration of 48 months. The project has 18 partners (8 African and 10 European) that come together once in six months to discuss progress and strategies for the continuation of the project. A two-day progress meeting began today, May 20 in Greece which will enable various project partners update the entire team on the progress being made in the various sub-section of AfriCultuReS. The last progress meeting was held in South Africa last year – read about it here. African partners on the project represents Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sahel Region and Niger.

SUMMARY OF AfriCultuReS

Integrated agricultural monitoring and early warning system
AfriCultuReS aims to design, implement and demonstrate an integrated agricultural monitoring and early warning system that will support decision making in the field of food security. AfriCultuReS delivers a broad range of climatic, production, biophysical and economic information, for various regions in Africa. AfriCultuReS applies geospatial science to sustainable agricultural development, natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, and poverty alleviation in Africa.

Key players
AfriCultuReS, supported by the GEO Secretariat, involves all key players of AfriGEOSS, GEOGLAM, SIGMA, ARTEMIS, African Drought Observatory and other initiatives as well as partners representing the diversity of African agricultural systems, in an effort to push forward the services provided by current systems, with innovative fusion of data from multiple sources (EO, in-situ, citizen-based crowdsourcing, climate services and weather, crop models) in a vertical manner. Crop yield and biomass prediction models is enhanced through the fusion of EO data and climate models, emphasizing the use of the complementary sensors of the EU Sentinels constellation.

Geospatial products are combined in a spatial Decision Support System (DSS) to enrich decision making and risk assessment. The geo component of the DSS is compliant with the GEO’s interoperability standards, allowing its integration with the current services of the GEOSS Common Infrastructure.

African networks
The African partners and collaborating networks are essential for local training and promoting further use of the project tools. Social innovation is used to increase the number of involved stakeholders and to boost the flow of information in a user-friendly manner. The final target is to produce a web tool that supports early decision-making for the stakeholders of African food production.

Current Partners are:
GMV : GMV Aerospace and Defense (SPAIN)
AUTH : Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (GREECE)
CERSGIS : Centre for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Services (GHANA)
CRA : Centre Régional Agrhymet (NIGER)
DRAXIS : Draxis Environmental Technologies (GREECE)
UEM : Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (MOZAMBIQUE)
GEOSAS : Geo-Space Analytical Services (ETHIOPIA)
HCP : HCP International (NETHERLANDS)
LocateIT : Locate IT (KENYA)
OSS : Observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel (SAHEL REGION)
SIA : Universita degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza (ITALY)
SANSA : South African National Space Agency (SOUTH AFRICA)
SMHI : Sveriges Meteorologiska och Hydrologiska Institut (SWEDEN)
UC : Universidad de Cantabria (SPAIN)
UNIVLEEDS : University of Leeds (UK)
USFD : University of Sheffield (UK)
CGIS : University of Rwanda (RWANDA)



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