Knowledge-sharing workshop on lessons from collaborative work on Earth observation data-supported in-season crop area estimation in Nepal

Date 14 Mar 2023 to 14 Mar 2023
Venue Kathmandu
Contact Persons
Type Workshops, Workshop
Programmes SERVIR-HKH

in-season crop area estimation in Nepal

About the event

The Government of Nepal’s Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) are working together to promote the use of digital technologies and Earth observation (EO) data for evidence-based decision-making in planning and policy processes related to food security in Nepal.

This knowledge-sharing workshop will bring together key relevant professionals from Nepal’s agriculture sector to review the collaborative work by the two institutions on in-season crop area estimation (see ‘Background’ below for more) and provide direction and suggestions for the sustainability of the operational service for crop area and yield estimation within MoALD.


The overall objective of the workshop is to engage key relevant professionals and share lessons from the three-year joint assessment and use of digital tools (Geofairy and RicemapEngine) developed for an operational crop-mapping service in Nepal.

The specific objectives include the following:

  • Share knowledge on recent innovations in EO and digital tools and technologies and their effectiveness in planning, assessment, and policy formulation
  • Review the joint assessment results, technologies, and institutional collaborative mechanisms
  • Deliberate on key needs for technology transfer and sustainability of an operational crop-mapping service and associated digital technologies

Expected outcomes

  • Enhanced understanding of digital tools and EO technology in the context of evidence-based decision-making for agricultural planning and food security decision-making
  • Technical appraisal of the joint in-season rice area estimates
  • Action plan for technology transfer and ensuring sustainability of the crop-mapping service at MoALD

Expected participants

The workshop will bring together MoALD officials and representatives from relevant national agencies, development partners, and nongovernmental organisations working in agriculture and food security.


The UN Sustainable Development Goal 2 (zero hunger) aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. The Government of Nepal recognises the prevailing food insecurity across the country and attaches high importance to addressing the issue. To this end, there is a need to build upon the significant capacity of food security monitoring within the government to ensure the generation of reliable and timely information that can support planning and policy decision-making processes.

Monitoring and estimating crop acreage helps determine the national or subnational food demand and supply balance, which in turn helps gauge food security. The operational use of open-source satellite-based information to monitor the climate and crops at daily and seasonal scales for integrated analysis of crop performance provides a cost-effective means to support decision-making processes.

To adopt new technologies in food security assessments, MoALD and ICIMOD’s SERVIR Hindu Kush Himalaya (SERVIR-HKH) Initiative are codeveloping an operational service for crop area and yield estimation using remote-sensing and machine-learning techniques. Following the successful district-level pilot study in Chitwan, the first remote sensing-based rice crop area estimation was conducted for 22 districts of Nepal’s Terai region in 2020. Professionals from district offices and central departments in the MoALD participated in field data collection and related training.

Incorporating remote-sensing and machine-learning algorithms to map in-season crops substantially improves the accuracy of crop area and makes yield assessments more efficient. And while relatively new, this digital solution is already recording and making relevant information available at the provincial level, helping reduce information gaps among Nepal’s federal and subnational institutions and further enabling planning processes at the palika level within Nepal’s federal structure.


Tentative agenda

All timestamps are in Nepal Standard Time (NPT).

Tuesday, 14 March 2023

Time Programme Speaker/facilitator
10:00–10:30 Arrival of guests and registration and tea
10:30–10:35 Welcome remarks Ram Krishna Regmi, MoALD
10:35–10:40 Workshop objectives Birendra Bajracharya, ICIMOD
10:40–10:50 Opening remarks Pema Gyamtsho, Director General, ICIMOD
10:50 – 11:00 Remarks by the Chief Guest Deepak Kumar Kharal, Secretary (Livestock Development), MoALD
11:00-11:05 Launch of the working paper MoALD–ICIMOD
11:05–11:30 Application of artificial intelligence and machine learning to support evidence-based decision-making in agriculture planning and policy formulation Liping Di, George Mason University
11:30–11:50 Overview of the working paper on ‘Operational in-season rice area estimation through Earth observation data in Nepal’ Faisal M. Qamer, ICIMOD
11:50–12:30 Global best practices for yield modelling and lessons/way forward in the context of Nepal Liying Guo, George Mason University
12:30–13:00 Discussion
13:00–13:45 Lunch break
13:45–14:15 Insights on the key results of rice crop mapping in Nepal and demonstration of the digital suite for in-season crop mapping Sravan Shrestha, ICIMOD
14:15–14:45 Climate risk management tools and their applications in Nepal Faisal M. Qamer & Ganesh Bhattarai , ICIMOD
14:45–16:15 Group work on the identification of collaborative work among federal, provincial, and other development sector partners to support technology adoption and sustainability MoALD–ICIMOD
16:15–16:45 Closing remarks
16:45-17:00 Closing tea