COVID-19 shutdowns in Togo constrained agricultural production by small farmers. The Togolese government needed a precise country-wide cropland map to develop a loan programme that would help fund the cost of farming essentials. In the past, farmers eligible for such loans would have been identified using Togo’s census data but the existing census underestimates informal smallholders who rely on subsistence farming. Satellite data filled the census data gaps and enabled the loan distribution to reach all smallholder farmers.

Average NDVI anomaly in Togo (left), Planet and new NASA Harvest-generated Togo crop maps (right)


NASA Harvest developed a national level satellite-derived cropland map for Togo at 10-meter resolution within a 10-day timeframe using data from the European Space Agency’s Copernicus Sentinel 2, from commercial partner Planet Inc, and from NASA-USGS Landsat satellites. This data, alongside poverty and census information, rapidly and effectively identified priority areas for the loan programme. With the cropland maps, Togolese government officials had trustworthy information on the physical size and geographic location of agricultural lands that census data might have missed. 

NASA Harvest, operating as NASA’s Food Security and Agriculture Program, is part of NASA’s contribution to GEOGLAM. 

“When rapid action was needed and mobility across the country was limited due to the COVID-19 outbreak, satellite data offered an effective and accelerated means to map the country’s distribution of croplands and characterize the nature of agricultural fields during the pandemic,”



Dr. Inbal Becker-Reshef, NASA Harvest Program Director.


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