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Guidelines on the Use of Remote Sensing Products to Improve Agricultural Crop Production Forecast Statistics in Sub-Saharan African Countries

image of Guidelines on the Use of Remote Sensing Products to Improve Agricultural Crop Production Forecast Statistics in Sub-Saharan African Countries

The present report provides baselines on staple crop zones and their attributes, such as crop calendars and climatic trends, which could form the basis for improved crop assessments and production estimation. There is reasonable statistical correlation between field-based crop production (acreage, yield) assessments with readily available remotely sensed products and crop model outputs, thereby offering new opportunities for more objective approaches for timely and reliable crop production forecasting in Kenya, Senegal and Zimbabwe. Thus, this report provides guidelines and a framework for developing multistage crop forecasting systems built on existing national institutions, but also leveraging on new technical advancements in a sustainable manner. In explaining the first and the critical step of the process, namely establishing the baselines, examples from Kenya, Senegal and Zimbabwe are considered and explained in detail in the report.

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Introduction

The importance of timely and reliable agricultural production forecasts cannot be overemphasized in making informed food policy decisions and to allow for rapid response to emerging food shortfalls and market stabilization, especially in SSA, which is becoming increasingly vulnerable to high food prices and food insecurity crisis. The drivers of these high prices and food insecurity are both climatic and non-climatic and are often aggravated by subjective and unreliable agricultural production assessments and forecasting systems. An inaccurate and delayed agricultural production estimation often leads to bad and costly decisions and policies at national and regional levels, resulting in unnecessary human suffering and, at times, loss of lives.

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