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GWF2014: Discussing the role of geospatial technology in agriculture lifecycle

Geneva: The GeoAgri session at the Geospatial World Forum 2014 discussed a wide array of geospatial technology and applications available for agriculture lifecycle. It also highlighted several initiatives under the umbrella of the World Bank and several other multilateral organisations.

Elaborating the programmes of World Bank, Daniel Kull, Senior Disaster Risk management Specialist, World Bank discussed uses of geospatial technology in agriculture disaster risk management. Underscoring that geoinformation plays a critical role in improved risk management, Daniel enumerated the work being done under the umbrella of programmes like FEWSNET – a multiagency effort for disaster mitigation and crop sustainability; GEOGLAM – GEO’s global agricultural monitoring programme and LEAP – Livelihoods, early assessment and Protection programme.

Raymond De Lai, Centre Manager, Herbert Resource Information Centre, Australia enumerated the top 10 tips for a successful agriculture enterprise GIS with specific reference to sugarcane crop in Australia. Recommending the enterprises to treat the whole supply chain as one business, he exhorted that geospatial is embedded in all aspects of value chain and it is important to focus on the business value. He also suggested that it is important to address the organisational and institutional structures and to recognise that GIS is more about the ‘IS’ (Information Systems) than ‘G’ and that it is important to manage it under the IT principles. Antonio Tabasco, Manager-Remote Sensing Applications and Services Division of GMV discussed the rationale for adopting an integrated approach in precision farming. In the afternoon session, Emmanuel de Maistre, Co-founder & CEO, RedBird, France highlighted the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in various agricultural applications.

Joachim Herbold, Senior Underwriter – Agro, Munich Re, Germany, elaborated the use of remote sensing technology in crop insurance. These applications include plot identification, crop identification, monitoring of crop progress, yield estimates, loss event monitoring, flood monitoring etc. He, however, pointed out that the use of remote sensing for crop insurance is in its infancy and there are several challenges involved. He stressed that further research and investments are required to fully explore the potential of remote sensing technology in crop insurance.

Gary Holmes, Business Development Manager, DMC International Imaging, UK presented the array of applications possible with DMC’s constellation of earth observation satellites in agriculture sector. Owing to the fact that DMC’s constellation has high frequency of revisit, he informed that it is best suited for multi-temporal monitoring and precision agriculture.

Source: Our correspondent