Workshop on Remote Sensing and Mobile Data Collection Tools for National Food Security Reporting in Tanzania
The National Food Security Division (NFSD) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MALF) and the University of Maryland (UMD) conducted a 3-day workshop from 20 to 22 October, 2015 in Bagamoyo, Tanzania on the use of modern remote sensing and smartphone technology for agricultural monitoring for food security. The training was hosted by the National Food Security Division Director Mr. Lemweli. Participants included the staff of NFSD and representatives of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Institute of Resource Assessment (IRA) of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM). Catherine Nakalembe and Jan Dempewolf of UMD provided technical expertise covering the following five key areas:
- use of the advanced satellite-based Global Agricultural Monitoring System GLAM East-Africa for nation-wide crop condition assessments;
- electronic field data collection with the GeoODK Android app and online database;
- selection of representative locations in the field using stratified sampling (point and area sample frame methods);
- use of the Crop Monitor collaborative online portal integrating data entered by the regional analysts with satellite remote sensing imagery time series;
- compilation of the assembled and current information for the National Food Security Bulletin.
- Photo: Participants of the 3-day workshop hosted by the National Food Security Division Director Mr. Lemweli, included the staff of NFSD and representatives of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Institute of Resource Assessment (IRA) of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM).
The mandate of the National Food Security Division is to report early in the growing season on the status of the 12 main food security crops, with maize and cassava being the most important. The information is disseminated to top decision-makers and the general public. The participants unanimously agreed that publication of the monthly National Food Security Bulletin is an effective and prioritized way for achieving this goal. The modern and novel remote sensing, smartphone and collaborative online tools were highly welcomed to help put together the publication on a monthly basis. The University of Dar Es Salaam offered to explore options for directly supporting the ministry in making these tools operational and to provide support and capacity building for data interpretation and visualization in form of maps and graphs. The workshop was concluded with certificates presented to the participants by the Deputy Permanent Secretary Eng. Raphael L. who endorsed the effort.