Promoting Healthy Agricultural Practices in Africa

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Maintaining healthy agricultural practices is vital for emerging nations in Africa.  In addition to providing a viable industry and job growth, it enables communities to feed themselves while also sustaining natural resources.

A core component of achieving this is being able to understand arable farming practices, as well as identifying both healthy and poorly-managed farming locales.  The overall strategy is to enhance the agricultural footprints in ways that increase effective crop production.

Geospatial technologies play a key role in bringing healthy agriculture strategies to life.  Sterling GEO, a channel partner that develops geospatial solutions built upon Hexagon Geospatial technology is doing this in the United Kingdom (UK).

SterlingGEO is working with McKenzie Intelligence, who has used ERDAS IMAGINE to conduct a recent spectral profiling training program with the UK government. Using the spectral profile tool in ERDAS IMAGINE, they were able to estimate the chemical composition of materials, such as vegetation.

“This training program was utilized by the UK government in order to better understand arable farming practices and efficiencies in Africa,” said Forbes McKenzie, Managing Director for McKenzie Intelligence, in a recent SterlingGEO press release.  “The spectral profiling is absolutely key to identifying healthy and underutilized or poorly-managed farming locales.”

This solution allowed team members to access insightful data from Africa and the UK simultaneously. In addition, McKenzie Intelligence used data sets from both Skybox Imaging and Google to provide easier access, timeliness and repeatable temporal passes – which allowed for effective monitoring of East African farming practices.

As we have highlighted before, McKenzie Intelligence is a Skybox Imaging distribution partner that has worked with SterlingGEO to demonstrate how to use ERDAS IMAGINE for effectively analyzing images from the SkySat-1and SkySat-2 constellations.

It is clear that advanced geospatial solutions can help provide the insights needed for developing healthy agricultural practices for any nation in Africa.  This new training effort reinforces the value of geospatial imagery and data in advancing how African communities sustain themselves.

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Dean McCormick

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