Earth observation for food security in Rwanda
The third AfriCultuReS hybrid workshop was held in Kigali on March 11.
This is what the experts said about the AfriCultuReS platform (https://africultures-platform.eu/):
the platform helps improve crop monitoring, it is rich in content and combines different types of data from a variety of sources in one platform, it is easily updatable and data access is also easy, it is user friendly, open source and supports the digital transformation of agriculture.
Points for improvement: the platform is not suitable for non-expert users (policy makers, farmers), the resolution is not high enough for some applications (for individual smallholder farmers, areas with a lot of mixed cropping), the good internet connection that is needed is not always available and data export is not easy.
The experts advised to make the platform available in the local language, to make integration with data and platforms of government agencies possible, to add other data needed to make Rwandan uses cases relevant, to add a search/query option and to provide training for local, non-expert users.
They considered the platform particularly useful for crop monitoring, crop index insurance, crop phenology, climate services, land and water monitoring and food security early warning.
AfriCultuReS Rwanda services demo
AfriCultuReS Rwanda platform demo
User workshop 27th September
The third AfriCultuReS User Workshop of 2019 was hosted by the Centre for GIS and Remote Sensing of the University of Rwanda on 27th September 2019. This workshop included representatives from local and national government departments, research/academia, and farmers’ organisations.
The workshop showed the importance of integrating AfriCultuReS products and services into the rapidly evolving Rwandan geospatial sector. There are an increasing number of earth observation based products available in Rwanda and an increasing number of locally-produced high-resolution ground datasets. This offers exciting potential for collaboration, but brings with it an accompanying risk of duplication and redundancy. Meaningful partnerships with Rwandan institutions will therefore be essential to the success of any new project.
Discussion of capacity development priorities highlighted the limited technological infrastructure in Rwanda available to support new applications, and the funding constraints which make it difficult to address these infrastructure gaps. The preference of stakeholders would of course be to invest in improved infrastructure; but given that this is unlikely to be achieved in the near-term, emphasis was placed on the importance of offline functionality. Participants also highlighted the need for training adapted to the requirements of different stakeholder groups, for example through technical sessions, workshops, classroom training, or via media such as radio which are in Kinyarwanda and which have broad reach in the country.
Our thanks to CGIS and particularly to Clarisse Kagoyire, Maurice Mugabowindekwe and Joseph Tuyishimire for organising the workshop, and to all the attendees for taking the time to participate and share their perspectives.
AfriCultuReS user requirements stakeholder workshops
In 2018 workshops were held in Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique and South Africa to assess user needs related to Earth observation for food security.
Workshop participants Rwanda