Use of Satellite Image Derived Products for Early Warning and Monitoring of the Impact of Drought on Food Security in Africa
African and other countries in the world suffer from regular occurrence of extreme weather events of which droughts form a significant part. This is seriously affecting the ability of those countries to cover their population needs in food supply and to maintain their livelihood. However, the pattern of droughts is extremely variable both temporally and spatially and it is crucial that decision makers be informed in advance of the extent and location of potential drought conditions to target relief measures.
Approaches to food security monitoring based on the temporal and spatial analyses of Satellite image derived products are presented. These approaches demonstrate that the extent and severity of a drought can effectively be characterised in near real time. Examples of previous work in Zambia showed the benefit of integrating historical agricultural statistics with satellite derived products to better attribute vegetation development variability to agricultural production thus providing a means to predict potential crop production levels for the current growing season. Other work in Namibia, Niger, Senegal, South Sudan and Botswana shows that such techniques can be used to monitor rangeland primary production levels for a given season.
Lessons from the implementation of these approaches operationally are summarized, emphasizing the importance of institutional support.
KeywordsCrop production Rangeland conditions Biomass NDVI Vegetation biophysical variables Time series analysis
- Brown ME, Funk CC (2008) Food security under climate change. Science 319:580–581Google Scholar
- Fillol E, Metais T, Gómez A (2008) Estimation de la quantité de biomasse sur la zone Sahélienne Mali-Niger par télédétection pour l’aide Ã la gestion de l’activité pastorale. Paper presented at the 2008 Toulouse Space Show, Pierre Baudis Center, Toulouse, 22–25 April 2008Google Scholar
- Haub C, Gilliams S (2010) GMFS service integration and know how transfer to Africa. Paper presented at the ESA Living Planet Symposium 2010, Bergen, Norway, 28 June—2 July 2010Google Scholar
- Kennedy P (1989) Monitoring the vegetation of tunisian grazing lands using the normalized difference vegetation index. Ambio 18:119–123Google Scholar
- Knyazikhin Y, Glassy J, Privette JL, Tian P, Lotsch A, Zhang Y, Wang Y, Morisette JT, Votava P, Myneni RB, Nemani RR, Running SW (1999) MODIS Leaf Area Index (LAI) and fraction of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by vegetation(fPAR). Product (MOD15) Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document. http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/atbd/atbd_mod15.pdf. Accessed 29 Sept 2013
- Le Comte DM (1989) Using AVHRR for early warning of famine in Africa. Photogramm Eng Remote Sens 55:168–169Google Scholar
- Lobell DB, Burke MB, Tebaldi C, Mastrandea MD, Falcon WP, Naylor RL (2008) Prioritizing climate change adaptation needs for food security in 2030. Science 319:607–610Google Scholar
- Rossi S, Weissteiner C, Laguardia G, Kurnik B, Robustelli M, Niemeyer S, Gobron N (2008) Potential of MERIS fAPAR for drought detection. In: Lacoste H, Ouwehand L (eds) Proceedings of the 2nd MERIS/(A)ATSR User Workshop, Frascati (Italy), 22–26 September 2008. ESA SP-666, ESA Communication Production OfficeGoogle Scholar