2023 has started off with quite the bang. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Head, Kristalina Georgieva, predicts that recession will hit a third of the world this year. The Russian-Ukrainian war will carry significant geopolitical implications. Furthermore, the growth of COVID in China will impact the businesses globally.
Such volatility is potentially going to impact agricultural production and supply chain. A recent HBR article on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) indicates the tough times CSR can potentially face in 2023 in the US and how CSRs need to find ways to navigate through these turbulent times. As per the KPMG survey, 70% of U.S. CEOs acknowledge that ESG improves financial performance. Yet only 59% of CEOs plan to pause or reconsider their ESG efforts. The article further states that in such times, CSR leaders need to understand the requirements to uphold their corporate commitments for a social impact. One of the ways is to find new ways to monitor the impact the CSR projects create.
Studies have indicated that agriculture is one sector which potentially performs better than other sectors during a recession. This is a good indicator for CSR firms to use technology to potentially increase their funds in agricultural and rural projects and use digital journeys to track and monitor the impact of the projects.
Our current article is aimed to throw light on a few questions we encountered when we participated in the India CSR Summit in 2022. The questions will help you understand the role of technology in CSR projects involved in agriculture and how geospatial data can be used to create digital transformation journeys to improve impact monitoring for CSR arms. The event saw an increasing number of organizations investing in agricultural CSR projects with an aim to enhance efficiencies at various junctures of the agricultural value chain.
The SatSure team had a series of immersive discussions with various CSR leaders from diverse organizations like social enterprises, CSR foundations, government agencies, and large corporations. Here is a quick synopsis of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that we answered at the India CSR Summit 2022.
1. When you use satellite imagery-based analytics for agriculture monitoring, how do you tackle the persistent issue of cloud cover?
Ans. We tackle the issue of cloud cover with our unique data product ‘SatSure Cygnus’ – an all-weather, optical, virtual constellation.
Deploying indigenously developed Deep Learning models trained on SAR and optical satellite imagery, SatSure Cygnus creates synthetic cloud-free images, no matter how dense the cloud cover is. Here is more information on how SatSure Cygnus exactly works.
2. We have deployed multiple on-field staff for farm and crop monitoring. Do you have any solution that can help us track our Farm Supervisors?
Ans. For on-field staff tracking, our farm management solution ‘CropTrails’ can help you track your Supervisors’ farm visits in real-time.
CropTrails not only helps you record how many farm visits your Supervisors undertook in a given period of time, but also when and where these visits took place. This helps in a remote, yet transparent tracking mechanism that can significantly improve your operational efficiencies.
3. We want a 1-1 connection with the farmers. How can geospatial analytics help us?
Ans. Since geospatial analytics like crop and weather insights can be difficult for farmers to decipher on their own, we don’t send direct advisories to the farmers. Instead, these insights are delivered directly to your field officers.
Your field officers can then disseminate these actionable insights to the farmers. The sole purpose of this mechanism is to ensure that the right information reaches the right farmer at the right time and prevent any misunderstanding that may arise due to the farmers’ lack of technical analysis.
4. How can you help in farm digitisation?
Ans. SatSure has two solutions for farm digitisation – SatSure Sparta Maps and CropTrails. While CropTrails is a farm management solution, SatSure Sparta Maps is an extension of SatSure Sparta that brings the power of the Sparta platform to hand-held devices.
As on date, we have helped multiple organizations across the globe digitize their farm operations. In India, we recently delivered a successful farm digitisation project for the Government of Telangana. Please click here to read more on this.
5. How can geospatial data help us with agricultural input distribution in our target areas?
Ans. SatSure Sparta is a holistic solution to streamline and enhance the efficiencies of your agri inputs’ distribution. Leveraging satellite imagery, SatSure Sparta’s robust monitoring capabilities helps you understand the historical crop performance so you can efficiently plan your pre-season distribution strategy.
During cropping seasons, it helps you remotely track the crop growth and its health so you can provide the right inputs to the right farm at the right time. With granular level information, you can plan your distribution strategy even at a village level.
6. Does geospatial data help in watershed management?
Ans. SatSure Sparta’s geospatial intelligence helps you accurately assess the real-time status of natural resources like water bodies, infrastructure development, and administrative boundaries of the Area of Interest (AOI).
This significantly helps you plan your new watershed projects with scientific data of the on-ground situation as well as remotely monitor the progress of your ongoing watershed projects.
7. Can we use SatSure Sparta for impact assessment of our CSR Projects?
Ans. Definitely! SatSure Sparta’s unique monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) approach can help you accurately track crop performance remotely.
With detailed analysis of historical crop performance, you can accurately plan new agri CSR projects. For ongoing projects, you can remotely monitor the progress of your projects in real-time and devise multiple intervention strategies by geotagging individual farms and even entire villages!
Recently, we successfully delivered an impact assessment project for a large irrigation project in Bihar. By accurately analyzing historical and current water productivity, SatSure Sparta helped the organization seamlessly monitor their project remotely and plan the right interventions at the right time.
8. We already have an in-house GIS team. How can we use SatSure Sparta?
Ans. SatSure Sparta adds more power to your in-house GIS capabilities. Offered as a data-as-a-service model, SatSure Sparta provides you a wide range of datasets that your GIS team can instantly access through our easy to integrate APIs.
The use cases of our satellite data are virtually endless for all aspects of your CSR projects. To learn how we can assist you make the most of your CSR initiatives, please reach out to us here.
9. What kind of support can SatSure provide for CSR projects?
Ans. SatSure solutions for CSRs is aligned as per the requirements of the projects and the stages the projects are at. We have an end-to-end monitoring, reporting and verification model for CSR projects.
In cases where a project is yet to be started, we help with a digital transformation for agricultural projects for field staff, farmers and farm lands. This can be done in three ways:
- For farms: Digital boundaries of farms for tracking the farm and crop performance
- For farmers: Digitisation of farmers is done through our solutions. Additionally, crop and weather advisory are provided to the farmers along with package of practices which are created with the agronomists from the client’s end
- For field staff: Tracking mechanism for farm/ farmer performance, direct farmer connect on farm, regional and local crop, weather insights delivery.
Post digitisation, we enable the CSR firms with monitoring and reporting mechanisms, where each farm and field staff performance can be tracked to create timely intervention models. Periodical performance reports can be created for continuous engagement and portfolio tracking.
We help CSR firms create a pre and post project impact assessment through satellite imagery, where certain parameters like crop performance, farmers impacted, irrigation performance etc., as per the project requirements can be tracked.
10. Do you have any solutions for non- agricultural projects?
Ans. We have three products at SatSure viz. SatSure Sparta, SatSure Sage and SatSure Skies.
SatSure Sparta is a data-as-a-Service platform that provides access to ready to analyse datasets in crop, land, water and climate categories, delivered through APIs. It finds diverse applications in the agricultural and climate action value chain for people and organisations interested in developing internal applications for their problem statements.
SatSure Sage is a suite of applications that facilitates smart decision-making in managing agricultural loans for lending institutions. It leverages the power of satellite data and location intelligence to bridge the information gaps, which helps lending institutions scale smartly while reducing operational costs and assisting farmers in accessing credit.
SatSure Skies is a high-resolution, change detection product suite for infrastructure, utility and energy applications. The product is helping clients create efficient processes through a digital transformation while reducing Capex and Opex costs.
Thus, we have products which work at the nexus of agriculture, infrastructure and climate action, where digital transformation is a consistent solution across the three products.
We at SatSure have helped in analyzing over 160 million hectares, enabled disbursement of more than 2 million farmer loans, settled more than 400,000 agricultural insurance claims and are monitoring more than 1 million sq. km every week.
Reach out to us to understand how SatSure Sparta can help your CSR efforts by creating a robust, digital monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) tool backed by earth observation data through satellites.
If you have more questions please feel free to contact us or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org