Earth-i Receives Grant to Use Satellite Imagery to Improve Crop Yield for African Farmers
Grant For $3.3 Million
Earth-i has been awarded a grant of $3.3 million from the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Program, which supports UK space firms tackling global challenges.
The grant will enable Earth-i to launch the ACCORD program in Kenya and Rwanda. ACCORD has been specifically developed to help smallholder coffee farmers in Africa improve crop quality and yield. It combines Earth-i’s high-resolution satellite imagery with WeatherSafe’s data platform to provide extensive crop, weather and pest analysis – and then shares the information via a mobile app.
ACCORD will enable farmers to identify where more water, fertilizer or pesticides are needed to address unpredictable weather, pests, diseases, nutrient depletion or other factors that reduce coffee quality and quantity.
The ACCORD project was one of only 10 programs to receive funding as part of a joint initiative between the Government’s Industrial Strategy and the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Program, which uses UK space expertise to deliver innovative solutions to real world problems across the globe.
Richard Blain, CEO of Earth-i, says, “Coffee is the second most traded commodity globally and vitally important to the economies of some of the poorest countries in the world. Agriculture is just one of a multitude of sectors where our imagery – and the insights drawn from those images – is improving lives on Earth.”
ACCORD evolved from work carried out by Earth-i and Weathersafe in Burundi. Together, the two companies performed surveys of Burundi coffee farms using high-resolution satellite data, conducted crop yield analysis and developed web applications to deliver the results of the analysis.
The news follows January’s successful launch of Earth-i’s VividX2 satellite, a service demonstrator for the Vivid-i Constellation, a full-color, full-motion video satellite constellation.
Earth-i is headquartered in Surrey, UK on Europe’s largest academic space campus. For more information, visit earthi.space.