During his presentation on February 12, 2019 at the World Ag Expo, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine highlighted the impact of Harvest's activities in Uganda, in terms of lives and dollars saved. World Ag Expo, held at the International Agri-Center in Tulare California, is the largest annual outdoor agricultural exposition featuring nearly 1500 exhibitors and more than 100,000 attendees each year.
Adminstrator Bridenstine introduced Harvest's work in a slide titled NASA's Technology Saves Lives and Money. He noted that the use of satellite data for identifying failing crops can mean that "instead of having to come in with aid after a catastrophe, we can mitigate the catastrophe to prevent it from happening, saving both USAID money and lives" internationally. He quoted Harvest partner Martin Owor, Commissioner of the Office of the Prime Minister of Uganda: "In the past, we always reacted to crop failure, spending billions of shillings to provide food aid in the region. 2017 was the first time we acted proactively because we had clear evidence from satellite data very early in the season."
Bridenstine pointed out that this work reflects NASA's potential to contribute to improved food security: "How can we save lives, grow more food, feed more people around the world, save water resources and do it in a way that maximizes the utility [of data] for everybody, not just in the [United States], but around the world," indicating critical issues where NASA can contribute internationally through its satellite data. The emphasis on using NASA technology for agricultural monitoring shows the prioritization and recognition at the administrative level that NASA has the ability and responsibility to contribute both data and tools for improving lives through agriculture monitoring, and has a proven track record of doing so through Harvest activities.
See video below for Administrator Bridenstine's description of NASA Harvest's work in supporting Uganda's national resilience.