Food security is a major global challenge, exacerbated by climate change and population pressure. The COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts make the food security issue even more challenging as it is projected that the number of food insecure people might double. The effects of lockdowns on food production are not yet clear, but they have clearly altered demand in various regions, even putting unexpected pressures on many regions previously defined as “food secure”. A good understanding of the food situation and production will help support the decision-making of these countries, but they face the challenge of not being able to have transparent and verifiable information.
Space and geospatial information applications are important tools that can support work towards SDG 2 Zero Hunger in Asia and the Pacific, and yet despite significant progress in this region, space applications and geospatial information continues to be underutilized to fully benefit the most vulnerable, primarily because of the lack of capacity in terms of human, scientific, technological, organizational and institutional resources. To ensure food security, effective monitoring of crops is necessary based on accurate, reliable and timely availability of information for taking informed decisions. Space-derived information and land-based observations provide that opportunity for generating regular updates on crop production statistics that serves as inputs to achieve sustainable agriculture. CropWatch Cloud, developed and operated by Chinese Academy of Sciences since 1998, is a remote sensing-based global agricultural monitoring platform that provides agro-climatic condition, agronomic information, production outlook and food security early warning.
This training is a component of the project “Building resilient agricultural practices by integrating geospatial information for agricultural monitoring in the Lower Mekong Basin: An emphasis on rice condition”, which aim to provide technical support in utilizing cloud platform for monitoring crop condition, crop stress, and production at national to sub-national level for Lower Mekong countries. The training will strengthen the capacity of Lower Mekong countries to identify suitable climate-resilient agricultural practices in rice crop production through enhanced access to digital early warning information for climatic shocks, trans-boundary water issues and geo-referenced production forecasts.