How did we create impact?

Remote sensing is an important foundational element of resilient and inclusive food systems. It facilitates innovation and collaboration among several players to manage agricultural risk: insurers obtain a clear picture of risks and losses; farmers acquire data and tools to maximise yields and income and reduce risks; populations have better access to food; governments and societies are protected from severe shocks.

India has one of the largest agricultural insurance schemes in the world and many innovative and ambitious technology companies in the remote-sensing and agricultural technology sphere. 

The remote sensing for food security track led to pilots in two Indian states. In Gujarat, remote sensing data is used to enhance the existing government-led insurance scheme PMFPY by assessing damages and informing farmers. In Odisha, agricultural advisory services are combined with access to credit, using satellite data to enhance the credit profile.

Conference workshop

What is remote sensing technology doing for food security?

Remote sensing fills data gaps: Satellite and drone-based imagery and data analysis can identify which crops are grown where and how. It allows to predict crop yields and the spread of pests and diseases.  Also, the data provides information about water availability and soil conditions, which helps to improve crop management. Remote sensing enables insurers to assess risk and loss, thus laying the foundations for insurance against agricultural and natural disasters. Furthermore, remote sensing is a cornerstone in precision agriculture, enabling data-led field management.

conference workshop

Who attended?

The remote sensing track brought together:  

  • Indian and global insurance and reinsurance companies
  • Remote-sensing service and data providers
  • Companies that provide digital agriculture advisory, extension services, technology and inputs
  • Policy makers, development partners, international NGOs

Why do we need an inclusive, resilient food system?

  • Enough good food for everyone. Today, more than 800 million people suffer from hunger. SDG2  sets the goal to end hunger and ensure access by all people to safe, nutritious and sufficient food by 2030.  
  • Smallholder farmers are integrated into the food system. 500 million small farms supply most of the food in low-income countries. However, their productivity is low and they are extremely vulnerable to external shocks. Often, they are those most affected by natural disasters and food crises.  
  • Smallholders have access to insurance. Insurance is an effective risk-management mechanism, but only 198 million of the 1.5 billion smallholders in low-income countries are covered by agricultural insurance. Insurance protects farmers from falling into deep poverty due to shocks, thus enabling them to invest more in their land.  
  • State-of-the-art data and technology improve production and distribution. Small farmers have access to advisory, production technology, inputs and markets that are tailor-made to maximise yields, obtain fair sales prices and reduce post-harvest losses. 

Implementation Partner

Michael Anthony, Earth Analytics India

"Integrated risk management based on remote sensing data can greatly enhance efficiency of the food sector, avoid food loss and protect smallholder farmers"