Smallholdings in Africa frequently lack the necessary infrastructure to develop digital services for agriculture, such as weather forecasts, cultivation methods or up-to-date information on market conditions. In the context of the project, UP42 provides technical consulting and makes access available to its own developer platform from which the latest Earth observation data and various analytical services can be called up.
“The Make-IT in Africa concept aligns with the aim of UP42 to make valuable information available to all via Earth observation data,” explains UP42 CEO Sean Wiid. “Together with GIZ, we are giving African smallholder and organisations supporting them insights on agriculture.”
The GIZ Make-IT in Africa project provides local start-ups with business trainings and technical support enabling them to offer commercial agricultural services to farmers in their region. Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has commissioned GIZ to implement the initiative in the context of the Make-IT in Africa project.
“We want to help local start-ups to reach more clients and tap new markets,” says Make-IT in Africa consultant Marc Hümmer. “For this purpose, we provide them with basic knowledge and know-how in the areas of data analysis, interoperability and business modelling.”
UP42 democratises geospatial data technologies by providing users with direct access to extensive Earth observation data sets and state-of-the-art processing algorithms as well as the appropriate Cloud environment for them to compile their own geospatial data applications in a simple and low-cost manner. Instead of buying large satellite-imagery sets or investing in expensive processing software and computing infrastructure, UP42 users only acquire the image and analysis resources which they need for their project, independently of their size.
Already in mid-2020, UP42 technical staff ran practical tutorials for start-ups to select satellite images and carry out processing analyses. Here, the focus was on client-specific solutions for agriculture with the aid of the UP42 interface (API) to enable the enterprises themselves to develop commercial services on the platform.
Three start-ups in Africa are already using the UP42 platform and also intend to expand their business activities this year:
In the UP42 Market Square, Make-IT in Africa participants as well as all UP42 clients can choose from a wide range of Earth observation data, including Pleiades 1A/B, SPOT 6/7, Landsat-8, KOMPSAT, TerraSar-X, Sentinel-2 and MODIS satellite images, HxGN and Getmapping areal images, Intermap-DEMs, exactEarth-AIS-data and Meteomatics weather and ocean data.
With these data sets, users can apply more than 70 analytic methods for geospatial data and algorithms for machine learning in order to automatically identify features and count objects, recognise patterns, classify land use and deduce vegetation indicators.
More information at UP42 Website