Earth Observation

Country-level ASIS Tool

  The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has developed a Country-level ASIS Tool to help countries monitor agricultural drought and manage its risks, using satellite data to detect cropped land that could be affected by drought. The Tool uses satellite data to detect agricultural areas (farmland) in which crops might be affected by drought. The country-specific version of the Tool is based on the general methodological principles of the global Agricultural Stress Index System (ASIS), which is used at FAO Headquarters to support the Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture (GIEWS).


The Country-level ASIS Tool was created with the purpose of assisting the countries to strengthen their agricultural drought monitoring and early warning systems. Once the Tool is calibrated with field information (current land use maps, sowing dates, length of the crop cycle and crop coefficients), it offers more precise results regarding the water stress periods for different crops than the global Tool. The surveillance of an agricultural drought is a continuous activity throughout the year. It is based on satellite information received from FAO every ten days, which is an ideal time period for monitoring annual crops because it takes into account the water contribution made by soil water holding capacity. The results are then summed up in maps that are easily interpreted by decision makers that can implement the drought mitigation activities on time. As the Country-level ASIS Tool identifies administrative units that are most likely to be affected by drought, the Tool is also useful to guide public investments such as harvesting rain water, irrigation and establishing or preserving water reserves.

The Country-level ASIS Tool has been implemented in Nicaragua, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Peru, the Philippines, Paraguay, Viet Nam and Pakistan and work is ongoing in Panama and Mexico. A TCP Project is also being finalized for implementation, at regional level, in Central America, in collaboration with Regional Committee on Hydraulic Resources (CRRH) and FAOSLM.

Several other countries have expressed an interest in having the Country-level ASIS Tool installed, including Ecuador, Costa Rica and Colombia, as it would resolve the gaps in the analysis and diffusion of agricultural drought information. Efforts are being made to ensure that interested countries receive the Tool as well as the related training and equipment, where appropriate.

Brochure: http://www.fao.org/3/CA0986EN/ca0986en.pdf

For further information, please contact: giews1@fao.org