The Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring (JECAM) is an initiative created by the GEO Agriculture Monitoring Community of Practice with the intent to enhance international collaboration around agricultural monitoring towards the development of a “systems of systems” to address issues associated with food security and a sustainable and profitable agricultural sector worldwide. The JECAM initiative is developed in the framework of GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOSS Task AG0703 a) and Agricultural Risk Management (GEOSS Task AG0703 b).

CEOS (Committee on Earth Observation Satellites) has agreed to collaborate with JECAM. For JECAM to succeed, collaboration with CEOS is necessary to ensure access to and sharing of Earth Observation (EO) data of the test sites around the world. Without coordinated acquisition of EO data of the test sites, JECAM will be unable to develop the agricultural monitoring system of systems. The world’s space agencies have collaborated for the benefit of the international community before; examples of coordinated acquisition of data to support scientific efforts include (but are not limited to) the International Polar Year (2007 – 2009) and the GEO Forest Carbon Tracking task.

JECAM forms part of the new GEOGLAM (Group on Earth Observations Global Agricultural Monitoring) initiative, which aims to enhance agricultural production estimates through the use of Earth observations. GEOGLAM was developed in response to the G20 Agricultural Ministers’ concern about reducing market volatility for the world’s major crops. The initiative will use recent advances in Earth observation technologies to contribute to timely forecasts of crop production and early warnings of potentially significant harvest shortfalls. The initiative’s goal is to strengthen the international community’s capacity to produce and disseminate relevant, timely and accurate forecasts of agricultural production at national, regional and global scales through the use of Earth observations. For more information about GEOGLAM, see the link to the GEOGLAM web site.