A New Tool to Fight Food Insecurity

The Group on Earth Observations* (GEO) announced, during its 36th Executive Meeting held in Geneva from 8 to 9 March, the launch of the Early Warning Crop Monitor, a new tool to fight food insecurity. Developed by the GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring Initiative (GEOGLAM), the Early Warning Crop Monitor provides consensus reports on crop conditions in countries at risk of food insecurity in Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Central and East Asia. Many of which, in Southeast Asia and even more so in Southern Africa, are currently facing severe droughts, which have been attributed to the on-going El Niño.

The Early Warning Crop Monitor, together with the GEOGLAM Crop Monitor for the Agricultural Market Information Service, will ultimately monitor crop development in 124 countries, totalling about 94 per cent of the world’s agricultural area. Both reports synthesize remote sensing data, field observations and environmental modelling conducted by more than 40 international, regional and national organizations. The monthly reports are made available to decision-makers across the food security community and to the commodities markets.

Dr Kathryn Sullivan, Administrator of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and GEO Co-Chair, stated, “Concerns over food and water security are rising globally.  Ensuring that agricultural industries around the world have access to the best science, data, tools and resources is essential as we work to increase food security and mitigate the effects of droughts and floods. The GEOGLAM Early Warning Crop Monitor provides decision-makers with essential information, gathered from satellites, buoys and other observational tools, to be ready, responsive and resilient against extreme weather and water events.”

Crop conditions map synthesizing information for all Early Warning Crop Monitor crops as of 28 February. Crop conditions over the main growing areas are based on a combination of inputs  – from remotely sensed data, ground observations, field reports, national and regional experts and more. Crops that are in other than favourable conditions are displayed on the map.

For more information visit the website.

* WMO is one of almost 100 participating organizations of GEO.

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