Lessons learned in the first years of the Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) Facility
Recently, the Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP) assisted with a mid-term review of the Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) Facility. The study was carried out in the period September – October 2016. The G4AW Facility has been commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is executed by the Netherlands Space Office (NSO). The Facility started in 2013 and will run until June 30, 2020. The mid-term review covers the 17 projects approved under the first and second call. The review results contribute to informing the Ministry in decision-making concerned with a potential third call for proposals.
The findings of the review show that the G4AW Facility opens new markets for providing information services. The G4AW projects offer a wide range of business models that address a gap in the current global geodata services market by offering locally targeted advice to small food producers, based on satellite information. The unique approach of G4AW to encourage innovative Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) has led to a diverse set of consortia that consist of social development organizations, commercial partners, government facilities and research institutes; each with their own unique capacities and capabilities. The review provides sufficient indications that food producers will make use of the innovative geodatabased products and services that these consortia offer. Especially when enough attention is dedicated in understanding the target groups characteristics and needs, and in establishing their trust and commitment, the projects carry strong potential.
At the recent Marrakech Climate Change conference, minister Lilianne Ploumen announced that an extra 20 million euros will be made available for the G4AW programme for a third call. The minister explained that the collaboration in the G4AW programme is a fine example of the role business can play in tackling climate change, a role the Netherlands has been highlighting at the conference in Marrakech. Read more here.
The lessons learned from this review are valuable not only for the G4AW Facility itself, but also for the broader public. Sharing this information can help improve the design of future business initiatives for smallholder farmers in developing countries, or even in more developed countries. A summary with the essential features and a more detailed report about the lessons learned from the mid-term review can be found at the G4AW Publications page.