NASA Earth Science Data Products for Farmer Management and Agro-Input Cell Phone Systems
This project combines information technology and remote sensing expertise to provide a distributed and platform-independent way for farmers and traders in Africa to access NASA remote sensing satellite data and products that can be used to improve their knowledge of crop and market conditions. We bring together existing communities in applied science programs and information technology to significantly expand the access cell phone users in Africa have to NASA Earth science information. Our primary partner in this effort is the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), an Africa based organization working in partnership with governments, agricultural research organizations, farmers, private sector, civil society and other rural development stakeholders to significantly and sustainably improve the productivity and incomes of resource poor farmers in Africa.
Decades of investment in vegetation, rainfall and crop modeling systems by NASA has created focused satellite-remote sensing derived products useful for monitoring African agriculture. These products are currently only available via the internet and require significant connectivity and knowledge to find and access appropriate NASA and other relevant agricultural datasets. In this project, NASA Goddard Space Flight personnel with information technology programming expertise will interface with experts with remote sensing and modeling experience to develop 1) simple text messaging of weather conditions and probability of crop failure information for user-input locations, 2) create a online website that can provide weather and probability of crop failure information using images and time series, and 3) an application that will provide text, image and time series satellite-derived weather information.