Role of geoinformatics in ensuing global food security with special reference to dryland agroecosystems
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Agriculture plays an important role in providing food security in developing countries. Better agricultural information is one of the key factors in understanding current trends and status that determine food security from local to global scales. Open-access policies for sharing geospatial information and technology are becoming an integral part of solving the food security equation. Geospatial technologies (remote sensing, global positioning system and geographical information system) have progressed rapidly in the 21st century, and will keep expanding to provide powerful tools in almost every aspect of food security, including research, development and aid delivery programs, policy, and outreach. Recent advances in Geoinformatics have created new opportunities to apply to agro-ecosystems research. The International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) is one of the research centers of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). ICARDA works closely with national agricultural research programs and partners worldwide to develop new technological solutions to improve dryland agriculture and productivity to provide food security while protecting fragile ecosystems in those countries. It also leads the CGIAR Research Program (CRP) on Dryland Systems, which targets the poor and highly vulnerable populations of the dry areas. The CRP on Dryland Systems aims to develop technology, policy, and institutional innovations to improve food security and livelihoods using an integrated systems approach. The proposed presentation highlights the role of the Geoinformatics in ensuring global food security with special references to dryland agroecosystems.