RESPONDING TO THE FOOD SECURITY EMERGENCY
The World Food Programme has estimated that COVID-19 could almost double the number of people facing acute food shortages in middle and low-income countries by the end of the year. GEO is responding to this threat through its flagship GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring Initiative (GEOGLAM).
Providing and maintaining objective and transparent information on global agriculture in near real time has never been so critical. GEOGLAM was launched in 2011 by the G20 Ministers of Agriculture to increase market transparency and improve food security. GEOGLAM produces timely and actionable information on agricultural conditions and production at national, regional, and global scales. Monthly global Crop Monitors provide near real-time information on crop conditions. The Crop Monitor for the Agricultural Monitoring Information System (AMIS) promotes transparency in international food markets and thus helps to prevent unexpected price hikes. The Crop Monitor conditions for May 2020 can be viewed here.
For food insecure regions of the world, the Crop Monitor for Early Warning (CM4EW) reveals crop conditions for key staple crops. It also provides early warning of potential impacts to crop production. GEOGLAM has worked with several nations to build their own national Crop Monitors, improving food security decision-making.
The GEOGLAM Crop Monitor community is monitoring crop conditions and providing sufficient early warning throughout this crisis and it will be important to continue to monitor as the growing seasons progresses. Reliable and early information will help decision makers in AMIS countries, the international community and national governments to address the looming food shortages. It will allow for appropriate actions for any major production shortfalls that could further exacerbate the prevailing difficult situations in many countries.