Earth Observations for Food Security and Agriculture
Welcome to the second annual Agrilinks theme month on Earth Observations for Food Security and Agriculture! 2019 was our inaugural year, and last year's content can be accessed here.
We are pleased to share with the Agrilinks community more of the cutting-edge work that is being done by researchers who leverage data collected by satellites in space for the benefit of humanity here on Earth.
In recognition that 2020 has brought us both a dynamic new Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, as well as sobering new challenges to human well-being worldwide, this month’s Agrilinks theme will be organized into three sub-themes that correspond to the Bureau’s new structure as well as the nature of the global challenges before us: food security and agriculture, water, and resilience.
Earth observations (EO) data are key inputs into the kinds of analyses and decisionmaking processes that are critical to promoting food and water security and resilience to recurrent crisis. With increasing launches of Earth-observing satellites, data policies allowing broader access to moderate and high-resolution earth observation data, and rapid advances in cloud and high-performance computing, EO data are increasingly seen as essential to support our work throughout the program cycle, from design to implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and adaptive decision making.
Because Earth observations provide global, frequent, and detailed information about climate, soil, crops, water, and land use, the data allow for a better understanding of the conditions in the places where we work, improved targeting of interventions to populations in need, and evidence-based assessments of whether programmatic interventions had their intended benefit.
A primary goal of this theme month is to showcase the ways in which EO data and applications are being used by Feed the Future, USAID/RFS, and our partners, and to broaden the understanding of the state of research in this field. The intention is to provide an opportunity for researchers who work with EO data as well as those who are new to the field to engage in mutually beneficial dialogues under the umbrella of food security and agriculture.
Agrilinks theme months are an important way for Feed the Future to consolidate and share learning and good practices on a given topic; identify and fill knowledge gaps; and draw attention to outstanding work being done on an important cross-cutting theme. We encourage individuals in the community with research and case studies to submit content for this month and join us in coming together for a greater understanding of how EO can be utilized to its maximum potential for a food secure future.
On behalf of the USAID Steering Committee on Earth Observations for Food Security and Agriculture:
- Kiersten Johnson, Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, Analytics & Learning
- Gary Eilerts, Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance
- James Verdin, Food for Peace/FEWS NET (Chair)