Large tracts of arable land are left fallow due to the lack of real-time in-season and replanting site-specific information. This project aims to bridge that information gap to enable the utilization of fallow land for crop diversification, a key pillar of agriculture sustainability.

Sustainable intensification through crop diversification with pulses & vegetables in cereal systems at farmers’ fields have shown positive outcomes in terms of yield, income & nutrition, while providing important ecosystem services. However, out-scaling of such an ecological intensification program requires systemic digitization of the agroecosystems (e.g., geotagging, agrotagging) with higher resolution and timely information.

Using multi-source satellite, geo/agro tagged in-situ data, machine learning and citizen science, the project proposes to design a digital augmentation platform to characterize farming systems to scale site-specific crops/varieties in countries where fallow can be replaced by short season legumes or vegetables.

The ground-breaking innovation consists in the real-time mapping of cropping systems and their dynamics (start and end dates, length/duration of fallows, variety, typology, soil moisture) to inform site-specific interventions such as selection of the most appropriate crops and varieties in response to local conditions.

The Inspire Challenge is an initiative to challenge partners, universities, and others to use CGIAR data to create innovative pilot projects that will scale. We look for novel approaches that democratize data-driven insights to inform local, national, regional, and global policies and applications in agriculture and food security in real time; helping people–especially smallholder farmers and producers–to lead happier and healthier lives.

This entry is among the 2020 finalists of the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture Inspire Challenge.

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