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Digital innovation to power modern day agriculture

e-GEOS’ AgriGeo platform for agriculture and forestry products and services turns a large amount of data from satellites and other sensors into modular services for precision farming, bringing benefits in terms of crop growth and well-being, planning of agronomic works, risk assessment, saving of resources and sustainability.

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The global population is rapidly increasing, and so is the need to enhance food production. According to a recent UNICEF report, nearly 690 million people around the world went hungry in 2019, and the count could well exceed 100 million in 2020. Further, high costs and low affordability mean that billions of people cannot eat healthily or nutritiously. With the global population estimated to be over 9 billion by 2050, the overall food production will have to be increased by nearly 70%.

2020 has been an extraordinary year for climate. The world saw new extreme temperatures and there were a record number of hurricanes and floods. Climate change is likely to affect food security leading to reduced access to food and affecting its quality.

Agriculture often places significant pressure on natural resources and the environment. Sustainable agricultural practices are intended to protect the environment and expand the Earth’s natural resource base. Therefore, if agriculture is to continue to feed the world, it needs to become more sustainable, resilient and efficient. The only way to achieve that is through introducing cutting-edge technology into agriculture practices.

In the last few years, the use of Space technology, such as satellite-based Earth Observation has transformed the agriculture sector worldwide. This technology empowers those involved in agrarian activities by:

  • Helping in detecting and controlling pests and disease;
  • Understanding water and nutrient status;
  • Planning nutrition programs;
  • Informing seasonal irrigation;
  • Estimating yields; and
  • Deciding harvest timing
  • Natural resources optimization

Transforming agriculture through innovation

Rapid innovation in this area has led to increased connectivity and observational capability, and developments in computing, data infrastructures and analytics have created new opportunities for farmers and crop growers. Exhibiting how technology innovation can make a difference to modern day agriculture is e-GEOS’ AgriGeo platform for agriculture and forestry products and services. The platform turns a large amount of data from satellites and other sensors (drones, in situ data) into modular services for precision farming, a virtuous approach bringing benefits in terms of crop growth and well-being, planning of agronomic works (plowing, seeding, harvesting and fertilization), risk assessment, saving of resources, and sustainability.

The AgriGeo digital platform extracts information to identify “activity markers”, from the processing of satellite time series and multisource data to delineate an automatic processing workflow based on farmers’ needs.

It offers multiple capabilities, such as:

  • Automatic processing analysis of Big Data;
  • Integration with intermediate and end user datasets;
  • Multisource satellite data capability;
  • Exploitation of COSMO-SkyMed and Sentinel SAR data;
  • Near real-time reports and dynamic analytics; and
  • Modular approach based on customer need.

Offering variety of services

The AgriGeo platform provides a variety of services to its users, which include:

Common agriculture policy (CAP) support services: Supports the semi-automatic monitoring of the European CAP farmer declarations for subsidies. The multi-temporal optical satellite capability follows the agronomic seasons of every agro-field and identifies it in an automatic way;

Production estimation support & risk management services: By comparing the temporal trend of spectral indices computed by satellite over a period on each single crop parcels along the whole crop life cycle, and integrating with meteorological models, Agrigeo monitors the crops health condition, supports herbaceous crop production estimation, and most importantly gives historical analysis of crop behaviour for risk assessment;

Insurance services: SAR satellite data allows the extraction of flooded areas over agricultural fields on optical data immediately after an event. It maps and monitors the real flooded crop area, thus, evaluating the possible damage in support to the insurance and claim management;

The platform gives variety of services in forest monitoring and precision farming and individual needs.

Agrigeo is set to benefit a host of stakeholders, such as government and state level actors; insurance industry; agricultural industry; climate change organizations; and non-governmental organizations.

To highlight the potential of satellite technologies for agriculture, e-GEOS will be hosting a webinar on “Farming from Space: Digital Innovation for Agriculture”, scheduled for 28th January, 2021 at 1600 hrs (CET). The virtual event will bring together companies, technicians and decision-makers to share expert knowledge and opinions about present and future agriculture scenarios, promising technologies and methodologies and geoinformation data and services value for the development of sustainable agriculture. It will shed light on satellite technologies for agriculture management as well as the challenges of scaling up innovative digital solutions and approaches that could support both smallholder farmers and institutions and decision-making actors in the complex global food and agriculture chain.

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