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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Food insecurity: GEO launches Early Warning Crop Monitoring tool

Arising from its 36th Executive Meeting held in Geneva the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) has launched a new tool to fight food insecurity tagged the Early Warning Crop Monitor (EWCM), reports NaijaAgroNet.

The GEO’s United States (US) Co-Chair, Dr Kathryn Sullivan, affirmed this at the end of the meeting held between March 8 and 9, disclosing that this tool was developed by the group’s Global Agricultural Monitoring Initiative (GEOGLAM), established by the G-20 Agriculture Ministers, under the Early Warning Crop Monitor (ECWM) which 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. 

NaijaAgroNet gathered that the March edition of EWCM bulletin reports that countries in Southeast Asia, and even more so in Southern Africa, face severe droughts attributed to the on-going El NiƱo.

Also, NaijaAgroNet gathered that Dr. Sullivan who doubles as the Administrator of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) pointed that EWCM, together with the GEOGLAM Crop Monitor for the Agricultural Market Information Service (AMIS), will ultimately monitor crop development in 124 countries, totalling about 94 per cent of the world’s agricultural area. GEO noted that both reports synthesize remote sensing data, field observations and environmental modelling conducted by more than 40 international, regional and national organizations; whereas the monthly reports are made available to decision-makers across the food security community and to the commodities markets.

She said that concerns over food and water security are rising globally, pointing out that "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."
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