Within TWIGA we work closely with local communities and farmers for which we aim to provide data and model output (information) that can assist them for farming or marketing. Training new farmers and launching our VegMon App in more countries is currently challenging. Yet, with the help of our test users and farmers in Ghana and Kenya we can use on-the-ground field data despite the current pandemic while ensuring social distancing.

Our smartphone App VegMon allows farmers to collect data on their plots that enables us to generate datasets for crop modeling. Since its launch in August 2019 we have been able to collect valuable data on crop parameters such as vegetation status (similar to NDVI), canopy cover as well as plant height and planting dates.

Individual collector’s data and landcover clusters
Bias-corrected RGB vegetation index (vig45) and Sentinel 2A NDVI data for a maize cluster.

Using ESA’s Sentinel-2 satellite data we automatically scale field-based vegetation status data derived from regular smartphone cameras to the widely used NDVI scale that is a common standard for satellite vegetation monitoring. In addition, we pull data from nearby TAHMO stations to generate datasets that feed crop models. At this stage, we can then run crop models for nearby VegMon locations or clusters.

All from the social distance safety of our home offices or farm plots, although we are all keen to meet in person again in the future.

Written by  Jan Friesen