The opening ceremony of “Kick-off Meeting for CropWatch Innovation Cooperation Programme for Agricultural Monitoring (CropWatch-ICP) and Online Training Workshop of Earth Observation Applications for Agricultural Monitoring” was held on 22 March. This visual meeting is part of CropWatch Innovation Cooperation Programme under the partnership of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), ANSO and the Aerospace Information Research Institute (AIR) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). 25 participants from Afghanistan, Algeria, Kenya, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Malawi, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nigeria, South Africa, Syria, Thailand, Turkey and Zambia joined the virtual meeting.
At the Opening Session, Ms. Shamika N. Sirimanne, UNCTAD’s Director of technology and logistics, expressed the expectation that this project will enable participating countries to build their know-how and technical capabilities in crop monitoring, which can increase their resilience to future shocks in food production systems. Prof. Jinghua Cao, Executive Director of ANSO Secretariat, was pleased to have initiated the project with UNCSTD, for which UNCTAD serves as the secretariat, to benefit the nations which need innovative technology for agricultural monitoring, and expressed that the second online training of CropWatch will allow the countries with food insecurity to have a quick access of the acquisition of the capacity of agricultural information in an efficient way.
Prof. Bingfang Wu from AIR/CAS introduced CropWatch-ICP that is to facilitate and stimulate agricultural monitoring at developing countries for the advancement of the SDG goal of zero hunger through joint research and capacity building. The participating country will enable to use the CropWatch cloud to respective national or subnational crop monitoring on their own in real and near time.
Each country representative expressed their interesting and expectations for the programme. They believe that this is a way to increase food production for farmers through crop monitoring and drought assessments, they are looking forward to learning how remote sensing can assist in achieving this objective.