What is G4AW?
The Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) is a program that is carried out by the Netherlands Space Office (NSO) in order to stimulate sustainable food production, more efficient usage of water in developing countries, and poverty reduction by increasing economic growth in G4AW partner countries. SpiceUp is one of the G4AW projects in Indonesia.
G4AW has 4 goals:
1. Improve the output of the agricultural, pastoral and fishing sector in 26 partner countries by providing food producers with relevant information, advice or (financial) products.
2. Reach a minimum of 10% increase in sustainable food production and/or an improved financial situation for at least three million food producers, by providing them with relevant and timely information services.
3. Help achieve a 10% more effective use of inputs for food production (water, seeds, fertiliser, pesticides, etc.)
4. Focus on sustainable improvement and increase of food production alongside a more efficient use of water in agriculture. G4AW aims to alleviate poverty by enhancing sustainable economic growth and self-reliance in the G4AW partner countries.
Observations from 3 Years of G4AW Program Service Development
NSO, as the coordinator of the G4AW program, has analyzed the progress of its services and involvement with local farmers over the last three years of running. Based on this analysis , several facts were found and lessons learned that can be used when developing G4AW projects in the future.
One of the most important findings shows that the involvement of farmers in this program is crucial. For example, at the start, the G4AW program deduced that farmers were willing to pay for knowledge and information but marketing studies have shown the opposite— a fact that was made clear when farmers were hesitant to spend money once the projects rolled out. Issues such as these can be subverted by including counseling services, NGO support, call centers, and the availability of digital connections that allow better communication between farmers and the teams that are supporting these G4AW programs.
Another finding showed that the involvement of local agricultural companies provides an opportunity to reach out to small farmers. G4AW also demonstrated the potential benefits of satellite data-based services to improve logistics, which can be used to acquire new partners. Through these findings, NSO hopes the G4AW program can develop better projects in the future.