Launching Next Generation ICT for Weather and Water   Information and Advice to Smallholders in Africa    Bharat R Sharma,...
Water is an increasingly scarce input inagriculture in Africa.• The challenge is to increase agricultural  production whil...
What are the opportunities to use ICT to increase           agricultural productivity?       Satellite images are increasi...
What did we already do?          Development Tools                  Run Operational          & Algorithms                 ...
Strategy and Approach: ModularTopic          Contribution                         Ethiopia Sudan     Mali      Egypt      ...
From pixels….to information….to simple action messages                                                         For each fi...
Development of Information Packages    • Weekly calculation of information package from satellite image    • Period: 2012:...
Example Operational service        Example FieldLook Web Platform             Information packages              ((2)weekl...
Inundation and flood forecasting: The Gash River, Sudan• Frequent rain-induced floods result in heavy losses in agricultur...
Flood Inundation Products      Water for a food-secure world
FieldLook Sudan operational website                        http://fieldlook.com.sd/                     Also available in ...
Final Outputs• Cell-phone and web-based information system  developed and tested in pilot areas.• Different stakeholders/ ...
Target Groups•   Individual smallholder farmers•   Contract farm managers•   Water User Associations•   Irrigation Boards ...
Project PartnersELEAF, DLV Plant, Basfood, The Netherlands-The Hydraulic Research Station, Sudan-Soil, Water, Environment ...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jul/24/mobile-phones-africa-microfinance-farming                                ...
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Launching next generation ict for weather and water information and advice to smallholders in africa

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Bharat R Sharma, L. Rebelo, G. Amarnath, I. Miltenburg
5th CRS ICT4D Conference

This presentation is based on the initial results of an IWMI-lead Project "Use of Smart ICT for Weather and Water Information and Advice to Smallholders in Africa". The 3-year project (2011-2014)is funded (US$ 1.8 m) by IFAD and jointly implemented by IWMI, eLeaf-The Netherlands and a number of national partner institutions in Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan and Mali.

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  • This presentation is based on the initial results of an IWMI-lead Project “ Use of Smart ICT for Weather and Water Information and Advice to Smallholders in Africa”. The 3-year project (2011-2014)is funded (US$ 1.8 m) by IFAD and jointly implemented by IWMI, eLeaf-The Netherlands and a number of national partner institutions in Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan and Mali.
  • With very low development of irrigation facilities and infrastructure in a number of African countries; and need for improvement in the farmer extension services in the remote and isolated areas; the land and water productivity remains low. Under such conditions, the use of modern tools with their greater reach and coverage can be helpful, especially when such tools provide customised services. This project aims to address this need for the African smallholder farmers.
  • In simple language, through this project we are able to visualise the fields very closely at weekly interval through high-resolution remote-sensing images; characterise these signatures for a number of parameters, run complex water and crop-growth models in the background for each field; and then based on that information generate specific and customised advisories for each farmer and the region (60km*60km) and disseminate the same through a number of interactive visual and text messages through the web, smart phones and normal phones.
  • This simply explains the same concepts in a little scientific manner for better appreciation of the researchers and policy makers. The project is in operation at the four sites in Ethiopia (Arata Chufa Irrigation Scheme); Sudan (Gash river spate irrigation and flood region- very close to the boundary with Eiteria); Egypt (Naubariya Region) and Mali (Offiice du Niger Zone).
  • Prioritization by StakeholdersLessons Learnt and SynergiesOut-scaling OECD ExperienceStep-wise ApproachInitially work with progressive farmers, irrigation scheme managers.Agree on modules appropriate to local context.Work in suitable locationsProvide local support to farmersMainstream/ upscale, including private sect
  • The process involves the ‘intelligent pixels’ where we are able to differentiate between the characteristics of each pixel , generate valuable and critical information and then use different information platforms for its near real-time dissemination. The figure above shows that whenever the soil moisture in a particular field becomes critical, an advisory is generated for that field for irrigating the field within the next 3-4 days.
  • The advisories are sent on weekly basis and can be for as many as nine parameters, depending upon the need of the farmer. Some of the advisories are directly actionable and others can be inferred say the need for application of fertilisers or pesticides or potential for emergence of a disease/ pest. It may the whole field or a part of it.
  • This provides the example of an operational service in Ethiopia and Sudan where information on crop growth, soil moisture and mineral nutrition is being provided.
  • The Gash River delta region of Sudan is prone to flash floods . This can be both devastating but also highly useful for the farmers using the spate irrigation- as the floods in the river is the only source of irrigation. The project has set up a special system for flood mapping and forecasting for its efficient management.
  • Through the complex integration of flood models, hydraulics and remote sensing products, the projects is able to provide advisories to the managers and the registered farmers the real time advisories on hourly, daily, weekly and monthly basis. This has been very exciting to know something in advance about a completely uncertain event.
  • The Project has been able to set-up the sites in the local languages for the benefit of the authorities in Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia. Both the general public and the registered farmers can access the relevant information customised to the individual fields and the entire project region.
  • This project is lead by the International Water Management Institute with its Headquarters at Colombo, Sri Lanka. The Project has several regional offices including the one for West Africa at Accra, Ghana
  • Launching next generation ict for weather and water information and advice to smallholders in africa

    1. 1. Launching Next Generation ICT for Weather and Water Information and Advice to Smallholders in Africa Bharat R Sharma, L. Rebelo, G. Amarnath, I. Miltenburg 5th CRS ICT4D Conference: Mobile Services that Empower Vulnerable Communities March 19-21, 2013; Alisa Hotel, Accra, Ghana Water for a food-secure world www.iwmi.org
    2. 2. Water is an increasingly scarce input inagriculture in Africa.• The challenge is to increase agricultural production while reducing water consumption.Smart and affordable technologies need to beadapted to customize farm management forsmallholders.• Tools that can monitor plot specific information and generate advice shall be helpful. Water for a food-secure world
    3. 3. What are the opportunities to use ICT to increase agricultural productivity? Satellite images are increasingly being used to assist commercial farmers and agribusinesses Innovative approaches and ICT based technologies Advice to end users for: - informed decision making - enhanced negotiation capacity with water and farm related service providers Water for a food-secure world
    4. 4. What did we already do? Development Tools Run Operational & Algorithms Service • Develop Tool • Data acquisition algorithms ->Turn (satellite satellite imagery imagery) and ancillary data • Calculation into valuable automation information • Tool application • Develop operational • Development of calculation system Information Package • Develop data • Central storage delivery infrastructure • Develop user • Dissemination through user applications applicationSmart ICT for Weather and WaterInformation and Advice toSmallholders in Africa
    5. 5. Strategy and Approach: ModularTopic Contribution Ethiopia Sudan Mali Egypt (Arata (Gash (Office du (Naubariya Niger) Governorat Chufa) region) e)Weather Temperature , rainfall, RH, wind y y y speed, reference ETHydrology River flow yCrop growth Biomass production, yield, y y y y Nitrogen, Leaf Area IndexAgricultural Crop water stress, crop water use, y y y yWater water productivity, soil moisture, irrigation adviseManage.Flood Daily/weekly spatial surface water YInundation extent for Gash delta/mesgaextent blocks; flood early warningInformation packages and transfer modes (cell phone, radio, smartphone, web) will be piloted based on the requirements and Water for a food-secure worldpossibilities per location.
    6. 6. From pixels….to information….to simple action messages For each field: weekly predictions: Water for a food-secure world
    7. 7. Development of Information Packages • Weekly calculation of information package from satellite image • Period: 2012: August 15 – December 31 -> Finished and available • Period: 2013: August 15 – December 31 -> Next season • 9 parameters (evapotranspiration, biomass growth, crop stress, …) 14-Dec – 20-Dec 2012 Biomass Production [kg/ha/week] High detail: 20m spatial resolution0 400 800Smart ICT for Weather and WaterInformation and Advice toSmallholders in Africa
    8. 8. Example Operational service Example FieldLook Web Platform  Information packages ((2)weekly/seasonal)  Based on satellite imagery• Growth• biomass production (kg/ha)• leaf area index LAI (m2 leaf/m2 ground)• vegetation index NDVI• Moisture• evaporation shortage (mm/week)• current evaporation (mm/week)• surplus rain (mm/2 weeks)• reference evaporation • Minerals • Nitrogen content in the top leaf layer (kg/ha) • Nitrogen content in all leafs (kg/ha) Smart ICT for Weather and Water Information and Advice to Smallholders in Africa
    9. 9. Inundation and flood forecasting: The Gash River, Sudan• Frequent rain-induced floods result in heavy losses in agriculture in this region The GeoSFM is a semi- distributed physically based hydrological model that simulates the dynamics of runoff processes using RS data Spatially distributed data is assimilated to simulate stream flow on a daily basis http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/vie w.php?id=12099 Water for a food-secure world
    10. 10. Flood Inundation Products Water for a food-secure world
    11. 11. FieldLook Sudan operational website http://fieldlook.com.sd/ Also available in the Arabic LanguageSmart ICT for Weather and WaterInformation and Advice toSmallholders in Africa
    12. 12. Final Outputs• Cell-phone and web-based information system developed and tested in pilot areas.• Different stakeholders/ end users are able to make use of information and advice for better management, negotiation.• Priorities for specific weather, water, crop related information agreed and mode of transfer identified.• Agri-industry and other service providers interested in expansion and continuance. Water for a food-secure world
    13. 13. Target Groups• Individual smallholder farmers• Contract farm managers• Water User Associations• Irrigation Boards and Block Inspectors• Agriculture Extension Service Providers• Crop and Livestock Insurance Companies• Commodity stock cooperatives/ traders• State Dept. of agriculture/ irrigation/Meteo.• Agric. Research Institutions Water for a food-secure world
    14. 14. Project PartnersELEAF, DLV Plant, Basfood, The Netherlands-The Hydraulic Research Station, Sudan-Soil, Water, Environment Research Institute, Egypt-Directorate of National Meteorology, Mali-The HEDBEZ Consult, Ethiopia Water for a food-secure world
    15. 15. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jul/24/mobile-phones-africa-microfinance-farming Bharat SharmaInternational Water Management Institute- New Delhi, India b.sharma@cgiar.org Water for a food-secure world

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