The overriding objective of HarvestChoice is to improve smallholder livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa through more productive, profitable and sustainable farming. We strive to represent specific production systems that have evolved within each biophysical domain in response to food demand, market access, and technological opportunities, amongst other factors. Central to the HarvestChoice spatial characterization and evaluation platform, therefore, is the characterization of farming systems: the geography and extent of crop and livestock production, the identification of and severity of production constraints, and the impact of a wide variety of drivers of change on productivity and sustainability. This body of information underpins HarvestChoice's ability to evaluate the potential economic and welfare impacts of greater investment and improved policy.
For the purpose of characterizing production systems, HarvestChoice has led an extensive effort to compile harmonized, cross-country data from nationally representative household production surveys and censuses. At present, we are extracting and compiling details of farm household enterprise mixes, input and technology use, market participation and other relevant factors for: Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Mali, Malawi and Ghana, and this work should be extended to Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique, Zambia, and Burkina Faso in the coming months.
With this growing body of data, HarvestChoice can generate spatially explicit data on major food staple crops and livestock under different inputs and managerial tactics. We have data on over 20 different major food staple crops and livestock using a structured fusion of satellite imagery, sub-national crop statistics, population, prices, climate, terrain and soil.