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Sentinel-2: Usage by World Food Programme WFP – World Food Programme. Sentinel-2 User Consultation Meeting, 25 April 2012. The World Food Programme. WFP is one of the largest humanitarian and development agency of the UN, working in more than 80 countries The main priority of WFP is to:

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Sentinel-2: Usage by World Food Programme

WFP – World Food Programme

Sentinel-2 User Consultation Meeting, 25 April 2012

the world food programme
The World Food Programme

WFP is one of the largest humanitarian and development agency of the UN, working in more than 80 countries

The main priority of WFP is to:

Provide timely and appropriate humanitarian assistance to save lives and protect livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable households against shocks and food emergencies

the world food programme1
The World Food Programme
  • WFP assisted 96 million beneficiaries (2011) in 79 countries, wih requirements of 5.1mn MT (USD5.7bn).
  • Top ten countries by beneficiary numbers (2012):
      • Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Yemen, DRC, DPRK, Haiti, Somalia
  • About 50% of WFP beneficiaries is in Africa.
agricultural monitoring and wfp
Agricultural Monitoring and WFP
  • EO data under an increasing usage at WFP with agricultural monitoring a major application.
  • Applications :
    • Early warning and impact assessment
    • Refinement of food assistance estimates
    • Support to the design of WFP food assistance interventions
    • Contribution to baseline Food Security surveys (climatology, zoning, history of shocks)
applications of sentinel 2 foreseen at wfp
Applications of Sentinel-2 foreseen at WFP
  • Early Warning of drought/floods impacts on cultivated area
  • Key information for post-event needs assessment missions
  • Planning and evaluation of food assistance intervention
  • Weather Risk Index Insurance Schemes
  • Local procurement and P4P
standard analysis
Standard Analysis
  • Main Resources : RFE (rainfall) and NDVI (vegetation)
    • RFE: Key driver for crop performance – USGS, U of Reading
    • NDVI: Direct indicator of vegetation status – (SPOT-VGT, MODIS)
      • Proxy for household resources (crop and pasture production)
      • Fine resolution, performance over irrigated areas
  • Ease of access, free download data sets
  • Familiarity
  • Long historical time series (reference scenarios)
other requirements
Other Requirements

EO information must be combined with other information in order to draw conclusions about possible impacts

  • Land Cover : distinction between crop and non crop land.
  • Crop land: distinction between farming systems – irrigated vsrainfed, commercial vssubsistence
  • Crop calendars : varieties and length of development cycles
  • Household information : assessment of vulnerability

South Sudan early season NDVI anomaly

How is this translated into information of value for WFP? Know-how of farming systems and crop calendars :

Short maturing sorghum is planted early so as to yield the first grain harvest of the season.

The NDVI anomaly translates into a “hunger gap” longer by 4 to 6 weeks.

Impact of this has to be judged against status of household stocks, itself mostly a function of previous season’s production


Afghanistan Irrigated NDVI profiles

NDVI profile analysis allows an idea of the changes in the type of irrigated farming (crop intensity) that have taken place since the preparation of the land cover.

desired required parameters
Desired/required Parameters
  • Parameters:
    • Crop/growing season performance (NDVI, fAPAR, LAI, red edge)
    • Seasonal cropland masks, cultivated area estimates
    • Land Cover estimates
    • Land degradation indicators (?)
  • Regional – country scale monitoring :
  • Handling of very large data volumes difficult
  • Zoom approach from medium resolution data from VGT, MODIS, MERIS, ...? Selection of priority areas.
  • Frequency of clean, cloud-free imagery:
  • Filtering algorithms (2D/3D spline – PLS)
  • Reliability of cropland masks / land cover (less stringent requirements)?
information for cfsam missions
Information for CFSAM Missions

Joint FAO-WFP missions

Sentinel-2 could produce key input information both providing cultivated area estimates, and determining spot areas for the field mission visits

Contributions to more accurate assessment of cultivated area may be crucial input, in particular for South Sudan (Mission provides only production estimate for the country)

flooded area estimates
Flooded Area Estimates

Sentinel-2 can provide much improved information relative to current staple of MODIS 250m

Purpose :

Fast estimates of affected crop land and most impacted areas – crucial for first three weeks when speed of information delivery is crucial

WFP operations – destroyed roads/bridges, ID of heli landing sites

Questions related to latency of operational product

weather risk insurance
Weather Risk Insurance

WFP and IFAD collaborating on a Weather Risk Management Facilityto improve access to index-based insurance products and a range of other financial services for food security

Evaluating usage of hybrid satellite and weather station products where weather station data are limited to inform weather indices

Sentinel-2 : Fine scale verification of crop performance

evaluation of wfp interventions
Evaluation of WFP interventions

Food assistance modalities include FFW and FFA, where food is provided to support improvement of community natural assets. Aims to reduce vulnerability to shocks (drought) by addressing environmental degradation

MERET program in Ethiopia:

Community watershed development, linking natural resource management with livelihood rehabilitation.

Water harvesting, soil conservation, drainage structures, re-forestation.


Infiltration & recharge of water table

Treatment of steepslopes for maximum water retention and infiltration effect





Grazing land


Shallow wells

Shallow wells

evaluation of wfp interventions1
Evaluation of WFP interventions

Role of Sentinel-2

  • Planning of interventions
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the impacts of WFP interventions

Identification of land degradation hotspots

Assessment of land cover changes

Land cover products, seasonal indicators


New procurement model

Still a small component within overall WFP procurement volumes, but maybe locally important

Food purchases from local small scale producers

Requirement :

Monitoring crop performance on participating farms, in particular under forward contracting situations


Thank You

World Food Programme

Via C.G. Viola, 68/70 - 00148 Rome, Italy