On May 8-11, pre-selected participants attended a 4-day intensive training workshop at IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development)’s Prediction & Applications Centre (ICPAC) in Nairobi, Kenya consisting of hands-on training in crop conditions assessment using satellite and field data as well as national assessment reports and readily available weather/climate data. The process has been co-lead by ICPAC and Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) with support from University of Maryland (UMD). Experts from UMD’s Centre for Agricultural Monitoring, RCMRD and ICPAC delivered the training, with leadership from EOFSAC University of Maryland Hub Partner Catherine Nakalembe.
The University of Maryland is working together with ICPAC to implement an IGAD region crop monitor that would allow the development of an agricultural consensus report (ICPAC Crop Monitor Report) that can be linked and reported alongside the climate outlook forum. The proposed report will summarize the current status of major agricultural crops in countries at risk for food insecurity. The report offers an evaluation of the crop and by extension climatic season. The information in the report will originate from national and international agencies using field information including remote sensing and will be synthesized through consensus building.
The main objective of the workshop was to enhance the capacity of national focal points from ICPAC member states on the use of the developed ICPAC Crop Monitor, the Global Agriculture Monitoring System (GLAM), and use of ODK / Geo-ODK application for streamlining field data collection and develop a template for reporting in the GHACOF events and bulletin. The ICPAC Crop Monitor report is focused on the IGAD region and will be compiled by local national government organizations while taking into consideration information contributed by other institutes, NGOs and international agencies.
The compilation of the ICPAC-Crop Monitor will be conjoined with the quarterly GHACOF forums. The IGAD Crop Monitor focuses on the current status of agricultural crops and will complement the GHACOF Bulletins that focus on seasonal climate forecasts. Initially the bulletin will be compiled and published alongside the GHACOF with the possibility to increase the publication frequency to monthly if needed. The ICPAC Crop Monitor portal provides a central location for collecting information from the contributing agencies and will be accessible via the ICPAC website. The results will be incorporated into the decision support tools being developed by ICPAC.
In the case where there are new crop monitoring leadership for a country the workshop introduced the ICPAC Crop Monitor platform, GLAM system, and developed a template for reporting in the GHACOF events and bulletin to the proposed national leaders.