Thanks to recent technology advances, anyone with a desktop computer and internet connection may use satellite data and analysis for agricultural planning and much more.
Take a look at the satellite map below. That vast swathe of orange and red across northwestern India and Pakistan depicts crops that have ripened in the last couple of weeks. Meanwhile, the areas of pale and dark green, in Pakistan, Bangladesh and West Bengal (India), represent crops that are still maturing in the fields. This bounty of wheat, fruits and vegetables could feed millions of people for months.
In any normal year, a bumper crop would be cause for celebration. However, with the world in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, this season’s harvest is posing a dilemma for governments: how to strike a balance between ensuring crops are harvested and taken to market – and restraining citizens’ movements. Major agricultural economies are among countries putting in place social distancing and lockdown measures to try and contain outbreaks before they overwhelm health services. However, this is having a major impact on food production.