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 ASIS Tool as well as its web-based data visualization application have been implemented in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. A regional level web application has been added to the official website of the Regional Committee on Hydraulic Resources (CRRH).

Several other countries have expressed their interest on having the Country-level ASIS Tool installed, including the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Panama, Kazakhstan (Kostanay Region), the Islamic Republic of Iran, Timor-Leste, Ethiopia and the Republic of Moldova, as it will bridge the gaps in the analysis and distribution of agricultural drought information. Efforts are being made to ensure that the interested countries have the Tool installed as well as receive the related training and equipment, where appropriate.

Brochure: Country-Level ASIS: an agriculture drought monitoring system

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