(25 March 2018)

On 5th and 6th of March 2018, the Food Security platform team organized a workshop at the ESRIN facilities of the European Space Agency (ESA) in Frascati, Italy bringing together its diverse agricultural user community. The workshop, titled “EO for Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture”, brought together stakeholders from the public sector including science and education, from the farming and insurance industry as well as from organizations providing EO services.

The aims of the workshop were to present and discuss the recent state of the Food Security Platform and the first Service Pilot in Europe as well as to discuss future Service Pilot applications in Africa. Furthermore, a number of participants presented their view on EO platforms and a variety of EO applications and projects related to agriculture and food security.

The workshop resulted in a number of user recommendations collected during a splinter group session for the ongoing agile development of the Food Security platform, the future business model and the data and tools that are needed by the community. On the second day the envisaged Phase 2 Service Pilot applications focusing on improving micro-insurance and micro-credit activities in Kenya were presented. In this session, additional inputs on their successful implementation were collected and potential synergies with other activities in East Africa were discussed. The workshop concluded with a hands-on training session on Tuesday afternoon with about 25 participants split up in three groups depending on their interest and knowledge.

(Note: Please log in using EO-SSO to download presentations.)

Agenda Monday 05/03/2018


Welcome by ESA


Introduction to the Food Security Platform and first experiences (Chair: Heike Bach)


H. Bach (VISTA): “Background, Status and Strategy of the Food Security Platform development”


J. Thoma (BayWa): “Remote Sensing Benefits for Agriculture - worldwide”


R. Cools (BelgaPom): “WatchITgrow, for the future of the Belgian potato chain - Potential for worldwide application?”


Demonstration of the pre-operational Food Security Platform by S. Migdall (VISTA), M. Muerth (VISTA) and E. Goor (VITO)


Coffee break


Short talks from the user community (Chair: Sergey Bartalev)


A. Sanchez (Univ. of Maryland): “EOFSAC: Earth Observations for Food Security & Agriculture Consortium”


S. Coutu (SwissRe): “Pros and Cons of existing EO platforms and further development needed”


T. Hank (LMU): “Virtual Water Values – Using earth observation-based model systems to quantify the efficiency of water use in global crop production”


Splinter Group meetings for revised user requirements of the Food Security Platform - Summary


End of day 1




Agenda Tuesday 06/03/2018


Key notes on political and societal aspects of Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture (Chair: Espen Volden)


E. Volden (ESA): “The role of ESA in Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture”


I. Jarvis (GEO): “GEOGLAM - agriculture monitoring in support of food security in Africa”


F. Rembold (JRC): “JRC technical support and use of Earth Observation for EU agriculture and food security policies”


Short talks from the user community (Chair: Eva Haas)


PS Traore (MANOBI): "NADiRA - Nurturing Africa's Digital Revolution for Agriculture"


S. Fritz (IIASA): "Agrotutor: A Two-way Communication Mobile App for Farmers to Collect Data and Provide Services"


J. Suarez (GMV): "AfriCultuReS - Enhancing Food Security in African agricultural systems with the support of remote sensing”


T. Ceccarelli (WUR): "G4AW CommonSense project: EO based, smallholders’ oriented, sustainable services in Ethiopia. How to make it work?"


Coffee break


Presentations and discussion of African service pilots for next phase (Chair: Sven Gilliams)


E. Patrick (IFAD): “Emerging role of earth observation in the planning and monitoring of rural development projects”


P. Bosire (FarmDrive): “Improved access to credits for smallholder farms by providing modern tech-driven credit assessment tools”


J. Bylappa (UN WFP): “R4 Rural Resilience Initiative – An integrated risk management approach to build climate resilience of food insecure communities”


Wrap-up of the workshop (VISTA)




Hands-on training session on the TEP Food Security platform (CGI)


End of meeting