A global challenge: Feeding the future
- The food producers of our planet face the extraordinary challenge of feeding 9 billion people by the year 2050. As a consequence of climate change, there will be a growing competition in using water and finding fertile land. Further, reliable weather forecasts for food producers are scarcely available in developing countries.
- Science and technology can help to improve this situation by empowering the most important actors in the food production chain: farmers, fishermen and pastoralists. Providing the right information at the right time to food producers can help to improve and increase food production in a sustainable manner thus ensuring food security on a global scale.
The opportunity: satellite and mobile data supporting food security
- Geodata, converted to relevant information on climate, weather and hazards, can help food producers and other stakeholders in developing countries. These data can be used to generate information for customised and timely agricultural advice.
- The combination of improved mobile connectivity, new satellite services and private investments offers the opportunity for scaling up innovations to large-scale implementation and operations. A growing fleet of earth observation satellites encircling our planet guarantee a continuing global coverage and provision of free objective data.
- Recent studies show that information from satellites and other (geo)data can be translated into agricultural advice, which enables higher crop yields and a more efficient use of seeds, water and fertilizers. Also, food producers will be able to receive early warnings for drought, flooding and/or diseases.
- Mobile phone based services providing up-to-date market prices have already been proven successful in Africa and India. Increasing the quantity and quality of communication networks enables millions of food producers in remote areas to benefit from relevant agricultural information, empowering them to make better decisions. Also, micro-insurances and/or micro loans combined with information services can help guarantee the continuity of food production.
Our approach: The Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) Facility is stimulating partnerships and information services for food producers by
- Creating a programme that promotes and supports private investments for large scale, demand driven and satellite based information services.
- Providing a platform for partnerships of public organisations, research institutes, private sector operators, NGO’s, farmer cooperatives, satellite data/service operators, the private (agricultural) sector and transmission operators developing space for food security.
- Improve the output of the agricultural, pastoral and fishing sector in 26 partner countries by providing food producers with relevant information, advice or (financial) products.
- Reach a minimum 10% increase in sustainable food production and/or an improved financial situation for at least three million food producers, by providing them with relevant and timely information services.
- Help achieve a 10% more effective use of inputs for food production (water, seeds, fertiliser, pesticides, etc.)
- Focus on sustainable improvement and increase of food production alongside a more efficient use of water in agriculture. G4AW aims to alleviate poverty by enhancement of sustainable economic growth and self-reliance in the G4AW partner countries.
G4AW is a programme by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs within the policy priorities for food security and water, which is executed by the Netherlands Space Office (NSO).