STARS Project
STARS Project

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STARS Project
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Enhance smallholder food security, income generation and future livelihoods through imagery-supported agricultural information services.


  1. Develop sustainable, subscription-based rural land tenure  and agricultural information services supported by very high-resolution satellite imagery. 
  2. Develop digital libraries and algorithms for smallholder crop recognition and management support at scale.


Objective # 1 develops an imagery-based “container”, a land information service building on mLocGov™, an existing platform proposed by MANOBI S.A. and on an imagery parcel backbone. This service is grounded in the local context through participatory research led by Association Malienne d’Eveil au Développement Durable in Koutiala district (Mali) and by the Center for Dryland Agriculture / Bayero University Kano in Bebeji LGA (Nigeria). Scientific backstopping also involves the Groupe d’Etudes et de Recherche en Sociologie et Droit Appliqué (Univ. Bamako).

Objective # 2 develops an imagery-based “content” for agricultural decision making through articipatory on-farm trials and spectral, temporal and textural crop profiling. Trials led by Institut d’Economie Rurale (Mali) and CDA/BUK (Nigeria) involve fertility windows on dominant crops, pure or mixed, over 150+ smallholder fields. Farmers explore with scientists and other boundary partners various uses of field-level remote sensing for insertion in a future agricultural information service.

Biweekly overflights of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are overseen by the Agence Nationale de ’Aviation Civile (Mali) and by the National Space Research and Development Agency (Nigeria) through its Zonal Advanced Space Technology Applications Laboratory, with significant data post-processing undertaken locally. Development of libraries and algorithms for crop recognition involve a task force composed of ICRISAT, ITC / Univ. Twente (the Netherlands), Univ. Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), Univ. de Sherbrooke (Canada), and Wageningen University & Research Centre (the Netherlands).


  • The Molobala subdivision in Mali and the Bebeji local government area in Nigeria for the development of a subscription-based land & agricultural information service built on an imagery backbone.
  • The communities of Sukumba (Mali, 12.172°N, 5.189°W) and Kofa (Nigeria, 11.555°N, 8.268°E) for the development of libraries and algorithms for crop recognition and management support.