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International Seminar Series: Using Satellites, Drones and Climate Data to Help African Farmers Better Manage Crop Losses

Wednesday, October 4th 2017
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Event Description

Title of Presentation: Using Satellites, Drones and Climate Data to Help African Farmers Better Manage Crop Losses


James Jones, Executive Director, Katie Center for Insurance, Illinois State University

Askar Choudhury, Professor of Quantitative Methods, Illinois State University (MQM)

John Kostelnick, Associate Professor of Geography, Director GEOMAP, Illinois State University (GEO)

Raquiba (Leena) Choudhury, Academic Scholar & Consultant in Climate Change

Aslihan Spaulding,  Professor of Agribusiness, College of Applied Science and Technology, Illinois State University (AGR)

Presentation Overview: During this presentation we will focus on the incorporation of weather risks associated with crop yields taking into account changes in some climatic factors for developing index based crop insurance. As the climate changes, farmers in developing countries face increasing perils including drought, flood, pests, and disease infestation that result in crop losses. Mitigating these losses requires a holistic approach including providing smallholder farmers access to credit, weather information, and affordable crop insurance. New technologies and insurance products customized to their needs are required. The Katie School team has conducted research and worked with partners in Africa. This interdisciplinary team representing areas of geography, statistics, agriculture, insurance, and climate science present their innovations that might ultimately lead to mitigating food security issues in developing countries.

Team Bio: James Jones is Executive Director of the Katie Center for Insurance and Financial Services. He and his research team have worked to develop micro-insurance products—low-cost insurance designed for individuals with low incomes—that would provide support and peace of mind for smallholder farmers in Africa, who depend on strong harvests of maize, rice, sorghum, and other crops.

Series Overview: The International Seminar Series offers the Illinois State campus and Bloomington-Normal communities weekly opportunities to learn about a wide range of international topics. Guest speakers are usually experts in their fields across a range of disciplines who cover a wide array of cultural, historical, political and social topics.

Series events have become one of the most popular internationally focused events on campus and continue to draw ever-growing crowds of students, faculty and community members. Audience members are given time at each event to raise questions to enable a two-way participation and learning.

International Seminar Series events are free and open to the public, and occur every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. in the Bone Student Center. The fall 2017 series will focus on food justice and sustainability.

If you will need special accommodations, please contact the event organizer.


Office of International Studies and Programs
(309) 438-5276


Bone Student Center
200 N. University Street
Normal, IL
Prairie Room North & Center
(309) 438-4636