The Agriculture Service is being developed to provide relevant crop and rangeland information to support policy and decision-makers involved engaged in crop and livestock production and food security. The main goal of the agriculture service is to enable the Ministries of Agriculture in the participating SADC countries to perform Crop and Rangeland Condition Monitoring, and also to provide them with an opportunity to forecasting yields and production scenarios.
The Agricultural service collects, develops and disseminates remote sensing based products on crop and rangeland performance on a regular 10 day basis. This information can assists the analysts and decision-makers in answering the following questions:
- What crops grow where?
- What is the crop or rangeland condition?
- What is the crop stage?
- What is the likely yield?
The processing of the products (environmental indicators relevant for agricultural monitoring) is done by Botswana Department of Meteorological Services (BDMS) using the MESA station, which is an automated data production and data management system. The MESA station has been installed at various Ministries of Agriculture in the participating member states in the SADC region.
Based on the agricultural products from the MESA station relevant information can be presented to decision makers in the form of a report or bulletin at regular time intervals of 10 days or monthly.
The Agriculture service includes capacity building component which is aimed at raising competence levels of users of the Agriculture Service in interpretation and use of the products generated by the Service and to generate purpose-made Agriculture bulletins to support policy and decision-makers.
Agricultural Service Training Manual
The products of the agriculture service are in the form of maps, graphs and written reports provided every ten days.
These products are grouped into three main classes:
- Baseline Products.
- Products from meteorological ground measurements
- Remote Sensing Products
Products generated by the agricultural service are primarily distributed automatically via EUMETCAST. This is a satellite based data dissemination system which allows users to recieve data with regular off-the-shelf satellite TV equipment and a PC. The MESA SADC Thema website (www.mesasadc.org) is used as a backup dissemination platform.
Key users of the service
National Level: Ministries of Agriculture (MoA)
Regional Level: SADC Food Agriculture and Natural Resources directorate (FANR)
|Agricultural Service Products: Crop monitoring||Frequency|
|Agricultural Baseline Products|
|1||AP01: Agriculture Mask||Static *|
|2||AP02: Crop Statistics Map||Not available|
|3||AP03: Crop Specific Maps||Not available|
|Agricultural Products from Meteorological Ground Measurements|
|4||AP04: Current Conditions Rainfall Map||10 days|
|5||AP05: Current Condition Cumulate Rainfall Map||10 days|
|6||AP06: Current Conditions - Air Temperature Map||10 days|
|7||AP07: Graph of Rainfall Events in the Current Season||10 days|
|8||AP08: Map of current Rainfall compared with the LTA, Max and Min values (mm)||10 days|
|9||AP09: Map of current Rainfall compared with the LTA, Max and Min values (%)||10 days|
|10||AP10: Map of current Cumulate Rainfall compared with the LTA, Max and Min values (mm)||10 days|
|11||AP11: Map of current Cumulate Rainfall compared with the LTA, Max and Min values (%)||10 days|
|12||AP12: Graph of Cumulate Rainfall of the current season compared to the LTA, LTMax, LTMin||10 days|
|13||AP13: Map of current Air Temperature compared with the LTA, Max and Min values (oC)||10 days|
|Agricultural Products from Remote Sensing|
|14||AP14: Current Rainfall Estimates Map||10 days|
|15||AP15: Rainfall Estimates Compared with average [difference]||10 days|
|16||AP16: Rainfall Estimates Compared with average [%]||10 days|
|17||AP17: Cumulate Rainfall Map||10 days|
|18||AP18: Cumulate Rainfall Map compared with Average (% Anomaly)||10 days|
|19||AP19: Vegetation Index Map||10 days|
|20||AP20: Vegetation Index Compared with average [difference]||10 days|
|21||AP21: Vegetation Index Compared with average [%]||10 days|
|22||AP22: Crop / Vegetation performance Graphs||10 days|
|23||AP23: Current Water Requirements Satisfaction Index (WRSI) Map||10 days|
|24||AP24: WRSI Anomaly maps||10 days|
|25||AP25: Onset of Rains Maps||10 days|
|26||AP26: Onset of rains anomaly maps||10 days|
|27||AP27: Soil Moisture Index Maps||10 days|
|28||AP28: Current dry matter productivity map||10 days|
|29||AP29: Cumulate dry matter productivity map||10 days|
|30||AP30: Cumulate dry matter productivity graphs||10 days|
|31||AP31: Cumulate dry matter productivity comparison with average maps (%)||10 days|
* Updated as new information become available
All products are only generated during the agricultural season (September-April)
|Agricultural Service Products: Livestock monitoring (proposed products)|
|1||Net Primary Productivity (NPP)|
|2||Seasonal Biomass Production Estimation|
|3||Carrying Capacity (expressed in LTU/hectare)|
|4||NDVI-based start-of-season and end-of-season for rangeland areas|
|6||Rangeland WRSI anomaly|