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Precision Agriculture for smallholder farmers: An option?


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Remote sensing –Beyond images
Mexico 14-15 December 2013

The workshop was organized by CIMMYT Global Conservation Agriculture Program (GCAP) and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the Mexican Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), CGIAR Research Program on Maize, the Cereal System Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) and the Sustainable Modernization of the Traditional Agriculture (MasAgro)

Published in: Education, Technology

Precision Agriculture for smallholder farmers: An option?

  1. 1. Precision Agriculture for smallholder farmers: An option? Bruno Gerard, J. Hellin, B. Govaerts, A. McDonald, T. Krupnik Mexico City – 14 December 2013 Kite aerial photography of Bagoua village, Niger, B. Gerard 1999
  2. 2. Climat e change Wat er, nut rient & energy scarcit y World-wide average yield (t ons ha-1 ) Diseases Agronomy Breeding Year Projected demand by 2050 (FAO) Linear extrapolations of current trends Potential effect of climatechange-induced heat stress on today’s cultivars (intermediate CO2 emission scenario)
  3. 3. Mueller et al., Nature 2012
  4. 4. MAIZE SI3: Smallholder precision agriculture WHEAT SI3: Nutrient and Water-Use efficiency
  5. 5. Principle • Precision agriculture for smallholder farmers should be seen at multiple scales: – Not only dealing with within field spatial variability but also intra-farm (and inter-farm) resource allocation – Precision Agriculture -> more precise agriculture (spatial and temporal dimension) – Where, when, what, how?
  6. 6. Why should new technologies not benefit smallholders farmers of the world? Penetration of cell phones in countries where we work is high ‘From the description of site-specific activities it is obvious that although precision agriculture, as seen in Europe and North America, is largely irrelevant in developing countries. The need for spatial information is actually greater, principally because of stronger imperative for change and lack of conventional support’ Cook et al., 2003.
  7. 7. Cell phone 99 92.1 82.1 72.1 70 84.3 80 70.7 60 56.4 52.9 60 60 30 Data Source: CCAFS Surveys 2012 54.3
  8. 8. Amazing technological breakthrough More for less: better, easier, faster and cheaper Photo: J. Cairns Gerard et al. , Soil Sci. Plant Nutr.1997 CIMMYT 2013
  9. 9. Four building blocks of precision agriculture for smallholder farmers - Remote sensing and other monitoring tools (weather, soil monitoring ) -> diagnosis, spatial and temporal dimensions - Nutrient, water and disease management, crop modelling -> how you turn diagnosis into recommendations - Information and Communication Technologies -> how you get diagnosis from and provide recommendations to farmers (path for crowdsourcing) - Mechanization -> how you apply rec. in the field Articulation of those blocks are system specific and needs dvpt of specific business models
  10. 10. Priorities • Recommendation domains for intensification at different granularities (regional, national, landscape, farm) • Yield gap and risk assessment (link with crop insurance, credit) • Ex-ante assessment of information needs at extension and farmer levels • Improved management practices (water, nutrients, tillage, timing) and prototype site specific recommendations through ICT models • Upscaling/downscaling: On-farm trials - Proxi-sensors – UAV/airborne – spaceborne • Data articulation/fusion/assimilation – Vegetation, soil, climate/weather, socio-economic, markets • Cross-regional learning! • Additional partnership with ARIs • Public-private partnership (i.e BASF, Syngenta, crop ins., RS) • Capacity building of NARS and extension services