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Funded byEuropean Commission (EU FP7)

SIGMA or “Stimulating Innovation for Global Monitoring of Agriculture” is part of the European (EU FP7) contribution to GEOGLAM and addresses some of the key challenges within global agricultural food production. It intends to reinforce the G20 Global Agricultural Monitoring initiative on improving sustainable data for worldwide food security and commodity market transparency.

SIGMA will investigate and develop methods that make use of operational remote sensing data from the European Copernicus Global Land Services. Particular attention is on satellite data for agriculture monitoring that allow contributing to a global agricultural monitoring "system of systems". In particular, methods will be developed for various agro-ecological systems in the world, with sites in Europe, Africa, China, Argentina, Russia, Ukraine and USA. Copernicus land cover, hydrology and vegetation data products will be part of the basic datasets that will be used to develop agricultural monitoring products. Given the global nature of the Copernicus products, upscaling to regional and global level will also be investigated.

The experiences and feedback from SIGMA will potentially lead to an improvement of the algorithms and applicability of the Copernicus Global Land parameters. ITC is involved in the satellite hydrology component of the project, generating geo-information on evapotranspiration and water use by agriculture.

The ITC Departments of Water and Natural Resources will together with FAO, also ensure the capacity development and dissemination component of the project, through e-learning and continental training workshops.  SIGMA is coordinated by VITO together with a global partner consortium i.e. Alterra (Netherlands), RADI (China), FAO (UN), CIRAD (France), IIASA (Austria), IKI (Russia), SRI (Ukraine), MSMC (China), DEIMOS (Spain), Sarmap (Switzerland) , JRC (EC), UTwente-ITC (Netherlands), UCL (Belgium), EFTAS (Germany), GeoVille (Austria), GeoSAS (Ethiopia), RCMRD (Kenya), INTA (Argentina), GISAT (Czech Republic), AGRHYMET (Niger) and SARVISION (NL). SIGMA runs from Nov, 2013 up to March 2017.