Group On Earth Observations banner
Group On Earth Observations banner

GEOGLAM Countries at Risk

This GEOGLAM component is specifically focused on countries at risk of food security emergencies. It addresses a variety of crops, agricultural systems and calendars, and different information needs. Agricultural monitoring in countries at risk supports timely food security assessment and early warning of potential significant food shortages. By at-risk we mean countries that:

  • are often characterized by subsistence and low-input agriculture, where agricultural production and livestock are heavily depending on rainfall, and where rainfall is highly variable, and thus food insecurity is a persistent threat.  Examples include countries in drought prone regions, such as the Horn of Africa and  the Sahel  -;
  • or are strongly dependent upon the global market for their food security, due to extreme variability of national production (typically South Mediterranean countries);
  • and are often low income countries that have difficulties procuring necessary commodities on the international market when prices are high.

Many national and regional agricultural monitoring institutions in at-risk countries have inadequate resources to generate timely agricultural production data, and they are therefore often unable to integrate them into a broader assessment of current or near-future food security. At the same time, the avenues available to them for improving their technical capabilities for producing data and information products are limited.

A number of GEOGLAM members including, FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System on food and agriculture (GIEWS), USAID’s Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), China CropWatch, and JRC’s Monitoring Agricultural ResourceS Unit (MARS) not only generate agricultural monitoring products of utility to national and regional agencies serving at risk countries, but also help them build national and regional institutional capabilities for doing so themselves. Working through the GEOGLAM structure, members foster the coordination of product delivery and capacity building efforts for national and regional organizations, and the development of harmonized methods and tools.

More information can be found on the following websites: