Food Security Assessment
Institute for environment and sustainability
Acronym: Food Security Assessment (FOODSEC)
FOODSEC was initiated during the 6th FWP, thanks to the MARS experience on crop monitoring and yield forecast over Europe, using remote sensing and agro-meteorological models. FOODSEC was developed on 4 pilot regions (South America, central Asia/ Russia, Mediterranean, Horn of Africa), in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), resulting in scientific networking on crop monitoring with national bodies. Since 4 years, FOODSEC has regularly produced on these regions of interest operational bulletins disseminated to the client DG's, the EU Delegations (RELEX) and UN organisations (WFP, FAO).
The main aim of FOODSEC action is to support the Food Security and Food Aid Policy of the European Union by an improved monitoring /assessment of the crop status in regions stricken by food shortage problems. Directorates General AIDCO, DEV, ECHO (in Brussels) and RELEX (EU Delegations) are the direct customers in the Commission.
Since 2006, at the direct request of DG AIDCO (Administrative Arrangement of 3+1 years), FOODSEC reinforced its support in the Horn of Africa: Production of national bulletins; scientific support and capacity building to EU-funded Food Security information systems; Participation in the crop and food supply assessment missions organized by UN; Additional expertise in vulnerability and socio-economic analyses; Direct support to the EU Delegation to the UN Institutions in Rome (secondment of an adviser in food security).
FOODSEC and AGRI4CAST actions of Agricultural Unit potentially cover the entire world and for this reason, the 2 actions are sharing common global information infrastructure, with an outsourced near-real- time acquisition and pre-processing of remote sensing and meteorological data (MARS OP3).
Since 2008, the Mediterranean zone and part of the central Asia/ Russia have been integrated within AGRI4CAST Bulletins while FOODSEC focused on the Horn of Africa + South America, and analysed possible extensions in Central America and South Africa Regions.
In the frame of the ACP Observatory for Sustainable Development, a particular emphasis is given to Africa, where food insecurity problems are chronically widespread. In that context, FOODSEC maintains synergies with other JRC actions (ISFEREA, MONDES, DESERT, SOIL, FLOODS, etc ).
FOOD SEC overall strategy within the future AFRICA Thematic Program will be to extend activities in Sub-Saharan regions, taking into account existing national and regional infrastructures, US projects (USAID FEWS), UN agencies initiatives (e.g. GIEWS- FAO) and the priorities of AIDCO. However, capacities of reacting on other zones of the world will be maintained: Central Asia, Northern Korea. The Action provides information and technical support related to food security in the 5 following fields:
- Real time Crop monitoring and EWS in selected areas: Horn of Africa (country level), Central Asia and South America (regional);
- Capacity Building, Technical advice, monitoring of EC funded projects and programmes on Food Security implemented by the UN agencies FAO and WFP;
- Inputs for the improvement of the UN Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions (CFSAMs) and Emergency Need Assessments (ENA, EFSA) as member of the technical panel on methodologies and procedures and participation as EC observer during these missions;
- JRC is one of 7 implementing agencies of the Integrated Phase food security Classification (IPC). FOOD SEC provides inputs on the methodologies, guidelines and contributes to the going IPC roll out in Africa (Horn and Eastern Africa)
- Definition of Food Security Indicators to AIDCO and recommendation on their use for the management of EC programs.
Research and development are carried out in parallel on the following issues:
- Development and validation of yield forecast models combining NDVI indicators, Water satisfaction models in different contexts - Calibration and validation of rainfall estimates products (2nd Generation METEOSAT).
- Definition, validation and assessment of the new MODIS medium resolution MARS OP products and integration in the crop EWS and yield forecast systems as crop masks.
- Integration on long term trend analysis in crop monitoring in Sub Saharan Africa (in correlation with desertification / soil degradation).
- Climate change issues are not directly addressed (AGRI4CAST).
FOOD SEC action is directly involved in KOPERNIKUS (new name of GMES), at various level.
- On the Global Land Fast Track and in particular in the GEOLAND2 competitive project as Task leader of the core information Services on Crop Monitoring, Which will allow to carried our further research and validation on area Estimates.
- On the "GMES and AFRICA" initiative, to organise with AU a pan-African expert consultation on Crop monitoring and Agriculture requirements and prepare a road map for the deployment of GMES services in Africa. (AFRICA TP).