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AGRICAB : A framework for enhancing Earth Observation capacity for Agriculture and Forest Management in Africa 


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AGRICAB aims to develop a framework for enhancing earth observation capacity to support agriculture and forestry management in Africa.
The project aims at improving and sustaining capacity for data access, agrometeorological modeling, early warning, agricultural statistics, livestock monitoring and forest mapping.



These components are developed through specific case studies in Senegal, Kenya, Tunisia, Mozambique, South Africa and Niger, leading to dedicated training actions capitalizing on the findings.

AGRICAB is funded by the EC FP7 programme and coordinated by the VITO research institute (Belgium) for a total duration of 4 years (November 2011-April 2015).

OSS ensures the implementation of the Tunisia (representing North Africa) case study as part of the implementation of the third phase of its project on the North Western Sahara Aquifer System (SASS III). Activities focus on the use of EO to assess withdrawals from the aquifer.


Three pilot zones have been identified for the assessment of withdrawals. They are located in the demonstration pilots 2, 3, and 6 of the SASS III project corresponding to: Touggourt (Algeria), Medenine (Tunisia) and Tripoli (Libya).

Land cover/use maps were drawn up using satellite imagery courtesy of the Africa-Géodev association.  The image-interpretation techniques were complemented by field surveys on each pilot site. 


A regional AGRICAB workshop took place in October 2013 in Tunis and focused on water use problems in the irrigated zones of the Northwestern Sahara Aquifer System. It notably presented possibilities offered by remote-sensing applications in withdrawal estimation.

A second workshop, which was held on August 25-29th 2014, focused on land use mapping based on high-resolution imagery of irrigated perimeters, assessment of evapotranspiration and the use of EO data provided by the GEONET receiving station hosted by OSS.


Expected results include:

  • State-of-the-art water withdrawal estimation models based on remote sensing;
  • A synthesis on the use of satellite imagery at different scales (low, medium, and high spatial resolution) for the estimation of withdrawals in the Northwestern Sahara Aquifer System;
  • Regional training on mapping techniques at different scales based on EO data;
  • Elaboration of land use maps at a scale of 1/25000 at the level of the three pilot zones, namely Touggourt- Sidi Mahdi (Algeria), Medenine-Smar (Tunisia) and Tripoli-As-Sawani (Libya) as well as the elaboration of a land use mapping diachronic study on the site of Medenine-Smar (Tunisia);
  • Field surveys involving farmers and institutions in charge of water resources. These surveys aim to identify irrigation volumes depending on seasons, climate, and soil quality. 








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