Friday, June 13, 2014

Making geo-information available for smallholders through business

Yesterday, I was invited to Safari park Hotel for a match making event on how to use Geo-information, mainly from satellite images for business purpose in Africa and reach out to the farmers. The meeting brought together NGOs, insurances, banks, farmers' organization, mobile payment companies or research institutions. It was organized by Dutch space office and agri-pro focus.

The meeting will followed by a call for implementing projects in selected countries that will allow to link-up the last mile, i.e. bring the Geo-information to the smallholders in the form of a business idea.

The call will contain some hard core criteria, such as having a Dutch partner, having private sector partners (i.e. having a business model) or using satellite images. However, there are a bunch of other outcome criterias, such as how many smallholders need to reach out is yet unclear. A dialogue between donor and partners has started to come up with smart indicators, and hopefully will be flexible and part of a negotiation.You can find more information about the up-coming call here.

ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute) was prominent guest, I was proud to represent and to present in the plenary session. We have been widely recognized for our work on the index based livestock insurances (IBLI).

The insurance uses satellite images to derive NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) and livestock mortality data to create an index. When the index indicates a drought, payments are done to pastoralists regardless the livestock has died or not.

First informal discussion took place with some of the partners to enhance the efficiency and the reach out of the insurance. There is definitely scope to follow-up.

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