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Eyes on Earth Episode 37 – Insuring West Africa’s Crops

Eyes on Earth is a podcast on remote sensing, Earth observation, land change and science, brought to you by the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center. In this episode, we hear how EROS data streams could be used to encourage ag production in West Africa.

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Color image of Eyes on Earth podcast graphic with photo of West Africa, podcast guests
From top, Sari Lucille Blakeley, University of California-Santa Barbara, Chris Funk, USGS EROS, and Greg Husak, University of California-Santa Barbara.

Summary: The Green Revolution leaned on fertilizers, drought-resistant seeds and other modern innovations to boost agricultural production across much of the planet in the second half of the 20th Century. But many of those innovations never reached West Africa, partially because the lack of social safety nets and crop insurance made such investments too risky. On this episode of Eyes on Earth, we hear about a new product called index insurance that could help encourage yield-boosting investments by small holder farmers in West Africa, and how EROS data might be used to refine and improve the product.

Guest: Chris Funk, USGS EROS, Sari Lucille Blakeley and Greg Husak, University of California-Santa Barbara

Host: John Hult

Producer: John Hult

Release date: November 2, 2020

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