Development in agriculture is a fundamental step toward alleviating poverty in rural Africa. According to the CAADP, or Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, development in agriculture is fundamental for economic growth and poverty reduction by directly impacting the creation of jobs, food security, the improvement of health and an increase of opportunities for both women and youth. The latest regional and global initiatives rely on satellites to bring a new era to agriculture in rural regions of Africa, where poorly executed public and private programs, plus drought and excessive precipitation can be economically, socially and environmentally costly. Projects such as the STARS landscaping study and SUM Africa want to bring the benefits of technology to smallholder farmers in Africa by using remote sensing. Satellite technology can collect data such as soil moisture content, precipitation and vegetation health which can be used to measure the conditions of farmlands and forecast crop yields. It can also provide early warning for possible famine to minimize large-scale human suffering. This technology aims at improving the lives of rural families who rely solely on subsistence farming to develop larger crop yields that can be used as marketable surplus and new supply chains to keep them out of poverty. Stay tuned next week to find out more about the potential opportunities that satellite data can offer agricultural development.
Photo by SpaceX