What is the IAFWS project?
The Information for Agriculture, Food and Water Security (IAFWS) project seeks to improve lives, through the productivity of smallholder farmers and demonstrate what can be learnt from Earth observation. The one-year exploratory project is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and led by Digital Earth Africa implemented in collaboration with the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) and the Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA).
Access to timely, consistent, open and free data to support informed decision making is a challenge. Earth observation is increasingly being identified as an essential enabler in addressing food insecurity, both in Africa and the world over.
Digital Earth Africa provides access to time series Earth observation data to allow generation of statistics to leverage effective planning and monitoring, leading to better food and water security outcomes.
This project is an example of African-Australian collaboration enabling optimal use of Australian innovation and aid through institutions across Africa to improve livelihoods, through the productivity of smallholder farmers. Co-designing solutions with end-users and evidence-based planning are essential for sustainable development.
A set of consultations with East and Southern African agricultural and water management agencies, research and farmer organisations and agriculture communities are being conducted, to understand the specific needs, opportunities and gaps for using Earth observations based services to increase agricultural productivity and sustainability, including through improved water use.
The outcome of the project is to design a Roadmap for Digital Earth Africa that will guide the fit-for-purpose co-development of solutions focused on agriculture, food and water security. The roadmap will provide a path forward leveraging Earth observations across the continent for food and water security.
The countries in focus for the project are:
- South Africa
This project is a collaborative effort between multiple stakeholders including; ACIAR, the Digital Earth Africa, International Water Management Institute, (IWMI), ASARECA, CCARDESA, and the Australian National University (ANU).
During February and March 2023, the IAFWS teams from Digital Earth Africa, ASARECA and ACIAR will host deep dive sessions in each of the project focus countries. Stay tuned for updates on this page and our social media - Twitter and LinkedIn.
Food and water security in Africa
Earth observation is increasingly being identified as an essential enabler in addressing food insecurity, both in Africa and the world over. Africa is home to 75 million people who are acutely food-insecure, in crisis, or worse. This number continues to grow faster than anywhere else in the world. Current production is well below the levels needed to feed the population and two-thirds of the continent rely on imports to subsidise food shortages. Learn more about the role DE Africa’s services and tools can plan in enabling food security solutions across Africa.
Digital Earth Africa
Digital Earth Africa aims to improve livelihoods across the African continent by translating Earth observations into insights that support sustainable development.
Our platform and services enable African governments, industry and decision makers to track changes across the continent in unprecedented detail. This provides valuable insights for better decision making across many areas, including flooding, drought, soil and coastal erosion, agriculture, forest cover, land use and land cover change, water availability and quality, and changes to human settlements.
Learn more about the impact of Digital Earth Africa, so far, in our impact stories.
We are built on partnerships with African governance and in-country expertise to build capacity. Digital Earth Africa is working with the African and international community to ensure that Earth observation data is analysis ready, rapidly available and readily accessible to meet the needs of our users. Learn more about our partners here.
Digital Earth Africa has demonstrated that it has the technology, capacity, development capability and established partnerships in this space to support food and water security at continental, regional, national and local scale.
The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) is the Australian Government’s specialist agricultural research-for-development agency within the Australian aid program. The purpose of ACIAR is to contribute to reducing poverty and improving the livelihoods of many in the Indo-Pacific region through more productive and sustainable agriculture emerging from collaborative international research. Learn more about ACIAR and their role in supporting and funding this project here.
If you are interested in covering this program please contact the Digital Earth Africa team at email@example.com.
You can download our Press Kit here.