KPMG, a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services, recently interviewed 30 experts across a vast array of space-related industries for their predictions on the future of the space sector over the next 10 years. As a worldwide leader in the various applications of remote sensing and Earth observation data for monitoring and forecasting global agriculture conditions, Dr. Inbal Becker-Reshef (NASA Harvest Program Director) was asked for her food security perspective in KPMG’s 30 Voices on 2030: The Future of Space report.
Widely-accepted forecasts among agricultural and economic researchers show that by 2050 the world must produce 50 percent more food in order to feed the global population, which is anticipated to grow to around 10 billion people. Unfortunately, food insecurity is a prevalent concern amongst scientists studying agricultural production and supply chains, where findings reveal that we are already close to 100 percent agriculturally sustainable land-use capacity. Looking forward to 2030, Dr. Becker-Reshef explains that continuing to move the agricultural industry forward involves open data policies, high quality data, better data harmonization, and accessible infrastructures and platforms to process and deliver this data. Quick access to accurate data regarding food production variables is vital to making policy decisions in order to ensure food security across the globe, especially for the most vulnerable regions of the world. As Dr. Becker-Reshef explains, “In 2030, decision-making capabilities driven by accessible, timely, and open data and derived insights are going to be key to feeding the world and the continued agricultural revolution – across both small and large scale farming operations.”
The wide range of NASA Harvest consortium partners aim to address the various challenges involved with providing this critical data to those who need it most, including increased collaboration across the public, private, academic, government, and non-government sectors. While there have been many technological advances and undeniable innovation coming out of each of these industries, there must be useful and productive pathways to operationalise products and methods that directly benefit end-users. By connecting individual activities that are often currently happening in silos limited to one industry sector, the chances for adoption of agricultural innovations is elevated. Furthermore, it is critical that as satellite data and tools become widely available to a multitude of users, standards of high-quality data that provide equally high-quality insights must be established. As Dr. Becker-Reshef emphasizes, “We are starting this decade amidst a revolution in Earth observation capabilities as well as analytic and computational capabilities, which holds great promise for realising the benefits of satellite Earth observation data for agriculture and food security in the next ten years.”
How can space data drive value across industries on Earth? Will every business be a space business? Will growing and eating food in space be commonplace? Explore the full report to learn more about Dr. Becker-Reshef’s input on space data for agriculture as well as many other industry experts’ predictions.