Earth Institute Contact: Dr. Cheryl Palm
Feeding the growing world population will place unprecedented demands on agriculture and natural resources. A key question that underpins sustainable agricultural development is: How can we maximize the benefits derived from a given area – both agricultural products and the ecosystem services provided by all parts of the landscape – now and in the future? There is an urgent need for better data, better analytical methods, and better risk management approaches to evaluate the trade-offs and optimize synergies among food production, poverty alleviation, and environmental outcomes of agricultural intensification.
Vital Signs Africa will provide integrated scientific information to help policymakers, organizations, scientists and farmers improve their decision making regarding agricultural practices and policies. The system will provide tools to ensure that agricultural development does not degrade natural systems and the services they provide, especially for smallholder farmers. It will also fill a critical unmet need for integrating measurements of agriculture, ecosystem services and human well-being by pooling near real-time and multi-scale data into an open-access online dashboard that policy makers will be able to freely use and customize.
Tropical Agriculture Program
Project Web Site: