Project Start: 2016
Duration: 4 years and 6 months
Target Country: Mexico and Argentina
International Partners: 5
COMPASS is an IPP-UKSA and Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) funded project started in 2016. Rezatec and the University of Nottingham in the UK, supported by Booker Tate, are working with CIMMYT and COLPOS to improve crop management in Mexico, helping small hold farmers growing wheat, maize and sugarcane, as well wheat and maize in Argentina. Farmers need to improve crop productivity and stabilise their incomes to facilitate rural community economic development. The technology developed by this 4 and a half year project uses earth observation satellite data (including data from Sentinel satellites) along with in-situ data captured from the farmers, to help identify factors that cause the yield gap between crop potential and actual field performance.
The project will provide customer specific decision support tools to help growers, including smallholders, improve their technical, environmental and financial performance. The next steps of the project will be to provide commercial information support, following trials, to advisory services, agribusiness, farmer co-operatives, crop insurers and governments to create a long-term income stream to support Rezatec’s provision of these services.
The overall challenge for all crops is to transform both traditional extensive, as well as modern intensive systems, into sustainable systems producing more crop output with better use of resources. This requires better management of the interacting parameters controlling yield. There are about 30 site-specific parameters grouped by soil, management, inputs and environment, that can determine the production efficiency of these crops e.g. soil type, harvest date, disease control and temperature. The theoretical effect of these parameters on production is understood. However, there are no practical, evidence based, management decision tools that support smallholders and larger growers by targeting production efficiency per specific field.
Providing a management decision support tool, informed by satellite and other data sources, that is both practical and affordable for smallholders with low levels of formal education, will help them make better decisions and thus benefit their incomes and farm development. COMPASS aims to provide this solution.
Rural economic development