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Satellite Data Can Warn Of Famine, NASA Researchers Find

ScienceDaily (July 19, 2007)

Satellite Data Can Warn Of Famine, NASA Researchers Find

ScienceDaily (July 19, 2007)

Scientists have developed a new method to anticipate food shortages brought on by drought. They created a model using data from satellite remote sensing of crop growth and food prices. Supply and demand largely dictate food prices, with greater supply leading to lower prices and less supply leading to higher prices. During a food crisis in semi-arid regions like Niger, food shortages are often brought on when lack of rainfall significantly reduces the amount of grain farmers are able to grow. Farmers sell their millet crops at outdoor markets like this one in Senegal.Credit : Molly Brown/NASA

Supply and demand largely dictate food prices, with greater supply leading to lower prices and less supply leading to higher prices. During a food crisis in semi-arid regions like Niger, food shortages are often brought on when lack of rainfall significantly reduces the amount of grain farmers are able to grow. Farmers in regions like Niger are able only to grow a few drought-resistant crops, and therefore must buy grain at unaffordably high prices at the end of the year to make up for shortfalls in production. This scenario could drive a drought-driven food security crisis. A lack of locally-produced and affordable grain, coupled with increased prices and reduced access to food, could lead to starvation and hunger-related illness in the most vulnerable segments of society.

Story Source

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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