If ways can be found to use remote sensing effectively in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, the potential benefits include:
- Smallholder farmers may have access to better advice, allowing them to make better and more sustainable decisions about the types of crops they plant, when to plant them and how to manage them once they have been sown. This may lead to better yields, higher quality produce and increased wealth for some of the world’s poorest communities.
- More accurate and transparent spatial information about crops and fields will enable smallholder farmers and their communities to secure land usage rights. This is often the subject of dispute and can lead to land access being lost by the smallholder.
- The STARS project comes at no cost to the local farmer and aims to provide education and training to help put this free information to effective use. Furthermore, it will seek to create pathways to greater development and investment in remote sensing technologies for these emerging economies.
- Emerging economies will be able to more accurately forecast yields at a national level and make informed decisions about the state of food security for their populations.
- Food production processes in emerging economies will be more secure as local markets thrive when farmers are able to produce sustainable and reliable crops. Better export opportunities may also arise from more sustainable farming practices, potentially contributing to a stronger economy.
STARS’ ambition is to determine whether remote sensing technology can bring some of these benefits to fruition. In doing so, the aim is to increase the quality, volume and understanding of food production in emerging economies and to improve the farming activities and livelihoods of some of the world’s poorest people.