EOS Data Analytics provides satellite technology for modernizing agriculture in Africa
29 September 2022 | 12:04 am
Agriculture is an essential part of the African economy. The continent is rich in natural resources, and the climate allows a wide range of crops to be grown. At the same time, about 600 million hectares of land on the continent are uncultivated. Despite a lack of industry players, Africa's regional markets are large. More…
Agriculture is an essential part of the African economy. The continent is rich in natural resources, and the climate allows a wide range of crops to be grown. At the same time, about 600 million hectares of land on the continent are uncultivated.
Despite a lack of industry players, Africa’s regional markets are large. More than half of the land in sub-Saharan Africa is used by farmers who cultivate small plots. As a rule, they grow food or commercial crops on these lands. More than 170 million people are employed on farms.
Despite the landscape’s advantages, their translation into economic development requires effort and transformation. The difficulty stems from several aspects. The first is the difficulty in acquiring land and obtaining property rights. The second significant problem is poor infrastructure. Bad roads and electricity problems make agriculture unprofitable and uncompetitive.
At the forefront of efforts to transform the agricultural sector is modernization, designed to help increase farm profitability and employment by making the industry attractive to young people. Modernization will provide an opportunity to develop agricultural value chains in Africa, leading to job creation. Of course, the modernization of any industry will not do without the introduction of technology. Geospatial data analysis in farming is one of the leading technologies transforming agriculture today, providing farmers more opportunities.
EOS Data Analytics: Satellite Data Analytics for Farming
EOS Data Analytics, founded in 2015 by Max Polyakov, provides geospatial data analytics for various industries, including agriculture and forestry. The company’s AI-driven solutions give users the ability to remotely monitor and control the condition of plants and soil in the fields, collecting all the necessary information.
EOSDA Crop Monitoring is a precision farming platform that provides satellite monitoring of fields. This solution delivers data on vegetation status, soil moisture, harvest, weather conditions, crop rotation, and more. Thanks to this data, farmers can plan field activities, take timely measures to protect crops, rationally allocate resources and find practical solutions to increase productivity.
In 2021, the company also launched the EOSDA Forest Monitoring solution for precise forest management, a satellite-based forest monitoring tool. Foresters can use the platform, owners, researchers, and logging companies interested in remotely monitoring forest health risks, identifying illegal logging, and reducing negative environmental impacts.
Another solution for working with satellite images and geospatial data analysis is EOSDA LandViewer. It is a GIS assistant that helps users quickly find, visualize and process data. The platform provides access to more than ten indices that can be used to extract valuable information from satellite images.
How will products and services help subsistence and low-income farmers in Africa?
Digital technologies are significantly transforming agriculture, bringing changes humanity has not seen before. With the help of digital farming, growers can increase the amount of food produced while reducing the number of resources used. The goal of EOSDA Crop Monitoring is precisely to give farmers the tools to make effective decisions and increase the productivity of their fields.
The digitalization of African agriculture is facilitated by networking with regional traders and other stakeholders. Connecting with investment funds across the continent, EOSDA partners can help farmers adopt technology and benefit from geospatial data predictive analytics, and other innovations to improve agricultural land productivity. In addition, technological solutions contribute to increased market transparency and help to minimize the digital divide between large and small farmers.
Social case: Mapping Project For Indigenous communities In Chad
Farming communities need to adapt to the various challenges associated with scarcity of fresh water, fertile land, and other resources. This social case is an example of how communities cooperate to overcome the difficulties caused by climate change.
The project in Chad aims to mitigate conflict between local and indigenous communities caused by limited natural resources. It also aims to help communities adapt to climate change.
The communities of Chad and other developing countries rely primarily on pastoralism and subsistence farming. It enables them to provide food for their families. However, certain risks make these communities vulnerable. Extreme weather events associated with climate change have a negative impact on agriculture in the region. They lead to a decrease in the quality of natural resources or their loss. Because of this fact, the food security of the population is under threat. Climate change brings persistent challenges that limit access to resources and reduce overall well-being.
EOS Data Analytics contributes to the participatory mapping project in Chad. Video: EOS Data Analytics
Communities cannot significantly impact decision-makers in the country responsible for monitoring the impact of human activities on the environment and living standards. However, communities can assess the rationale for using resources to ensure that future generations have access to them.
A member of the Mbororo pastoralist people, founder, and head of the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, organized a collaborative mapping project with EOS Data Analytics. It is also an example of cooperation between communities to adapt to the effects of climate change and mitigate conflict caused by the scarcity of natural resources such as fresh water and fertile land. Using EOSDA LandViewer, the company obtained a satellite image of the area of interest. A printed map layout was then created with annotated natural and artificial features for residents to map on their own.
The leaders of over 100 communities from different villages met to agree on the sustainable use of available resources, which will be carried out as part of a joint mapping project. Communities collaboratively create maps for their needs with the support of technology companies and management NGOs. This initiative contributes to the peaceful, sustainable management of the resources available to communities. The project can help local people maintain their traditional way of life and adapt to the changing climate.
“To be precise, one must consider the brightness and spectral characteristics of objects. For instance, different levels of vegetation can be classified based on the values of vegetation indices (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, leaf area index, and other types of spectral indices)”, says Andriy Kuzmenko, GIS Analyst at EOS Data Analytics
Upcoming Launch: Agri-focused Satellite Constellation EOS SAT
The company’s plans include providing more opportunities for precision farming through the EOS SAT project. The company will launch seven optical satellites with 13 band channels into low Earth orbit by 2025. It is the first project of its kind among companies using remote sensing technologies, as it will be focused on agriculture. The EOS SAT constellation will enable EOSDA to provide a complete cycle of collecting and processing satellite data.
The EOS SAT satellite constellation will help to address critical global issues affecting agricultural productivity, including climate change and soil degradation. Farmers need to increase productivity to feed a growing population. However, to prevent crop losses and ensure food security in the current conditions, it is necessary to apply sustainable practices that will not exacerbate environmental problems. EOSDA will be able to provide even more reliable data and analytics to help farmers increase field productivity safely.
The first satellite of the EOS SAT constellation will be in the orbit in 2022. Next, in 2023 the company plans to launch three more satellites. Then, during 2024-2025, three more satellites will be launched, and the entire operations capability will be achieved.
The deployment of remote sensing, analytics and digital farming solutions helps farmers improve productivity by making informed, data-driven decisions. In addition, adopting technology contributes to increased sustainability and reduced environmental impact.
EOS Data Analytics provides farmers and other agribusiness stakeholders with end-to-end solutions that empower them with a wide range of data. The company’s products equip the agricultural sector with the tools to help save resources, improve management, increase productivity, and ensure food security, which aligns with the needs of African communities.