Space Technologies to Help Manage Risks in Agriculture

9 february 2016

Global climate change is going to be having an ever increasing impact on the Russian agriculture, according to the experts who took part in the Round Table “Adapting to climate change: agriculture” that was held today at the Analytical Center.

During the Round Rable experts discussed negative and positive consequences of climate change that are going to have the most significant impact on agriculture in Russia over the next 15 years. They were talking about the measures that could be implemented to help the agricultural sector adapt to climate change as well as about areas for possible international cooperation in this field.

The Analytical Center's expert Aleksey Grigoriev reminded those present that the Climate Doctrine of Russia calls for measures to reduce the negative consequences and to increase the positive results of global climate change. “The UN Climate Change conference that took place in Paris in December 2015 confirmed that the international community had to take immediate measures to prevent further climate change and adapt to new conditions,” the expert said.

“Nobody is disputing the fact that climate change is happening any more. In fact we can already feel it, especially in Siberia, the global leader in terms of the average annual temperature increase,” said Alexander Korbut, the Vice President of the Russian Grain Union. According to him, thermophile plants are being grown further and further North but at the same time parasites and diseases previously unheard of in those high altitudes are also spreading there.

As for measures to adapt to climate change, they are the same the world over, according to Mr. Korbut. They include various energy efficient and resource preservation technologies, development of new types of plants that can survive droughts and can cope with reduced amounts of minerals in the soil. “The main problem of our agricultural sector is that we have missed the green revolution and are now missing the IT revolution. Modern agriculture has adopted most advanced technologies. In the meantime, the state support system we have in Russia emphasizes increasing the bulk output rather than technological modernization,” Mr. Korbut summed up.

Yuri Volovik, the Advisor to the President of the National Union of Agricultural Insurers, talked about satellite monitoring of crops. “The use of space technologies in agricultural insurance helps promote mutual trust between the insurers and agricultural producers when it comes time to settling claims,” the expert believes. These technologies enable to quickly respond to weather changes and implement emergency measures to minimize their negative impact on the crops, thus helping make the agricultural sector more resilient to global climate change, Mr. Volovik noted. The expert is sure that space technologies can help with the transition from risk insurance to risk management.

The participants in the round table noted that in order to implement measures to help agriculture adapt to climate change, a good infrastructure needs to be created, the issue of amelioration needs to be addressed and a special land service needs to be set up.

Program and List of Participants