The Group on Earth Observation’s Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) Initiative has brought together scientists, governments, and agricultural stakeholders since 2011, to help address global food security and market transparency. NASA Harvest’s Chief Scientist, Chris Justice, and South Asia Lead, Meghavi Prashnani, attended the Agriculture Deputies Meeting under the Agriculture Working Group (AWG), G20-India, to present on GEOGLAM activities as part of the G20 stock-take on its initiatives. The presentation summarized the GEOGLAM activities and how the initiative is providing solutions for effective monitoring of global agriculture using Earth observation, leveraging the coordinated efforts from its worldwide partners.
The Group of 20 (G20), an international forum comprising 19 national governments and the European Union with a focus on resolving major global economic issues, launched GEOGLAM in 2011 to provide improved agricultural information in the aftermath of a global food price supply shock. Since its creation, GEOGLAM has used remotely sensed Earth observations from the world’s satellite constellations to monitor global cropland, analyze growing conditions, identify food security risks and assess production.
Chris Justice, who also serves as a GEOGLAM co-Chair, spoke to the gathered Agricultural Ministers on the progress of the initiative over the past 12 years. He highlighted the creation of the monthly GEOGLAM Crop Monitor reports for the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) and Early Warning, which are led by NASA Harvest. The former provides insights on production and growing conditions for major commodity crop exporting countries, while the latter looks at conditions in food insecure countries. Both reports provide an international consensus of global crop conditions which strengthen policymaker responses to emerging crises.
In addition to stock-taking of the G20 initiatives, the meeting focused on the development of a framework for Food Security and Nutrition. A number of countries offered their opinions on the proposed ideas and solutions. These views were well-received and discussed.
Reflecting on the meeting, Meghavi Prashnani said “Global food security and nutrition are among the most pressing challenges of the 21st Century, worsened by war, pandemic and climate change. Earth observation can provide a great deal of insight into these issues, allowing for better understanding of global commodity markets and crop conditions in countries with food insecurity. Cooperation and coordination between global partners are essential to maximizing the value of these information resources. Active participation of international partners at this 1st ADM meeting under the Indian Presidency shows the ability of the G20 to provide this global framework.”
The three day meeting was attended by around 100 delegates from the G20 and other invited countries and international organizations. The agenda covered four major themes: Increasing food security and nutrition; Sustainable agriculture with a climate smart approach; Inclusive agri-value chains and food systems; and Digitalization for agricultural transformation.