“For years I have had one goal in mind: “Zero Hunger”. The 2nd Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nations specifically state: “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture”. I chose to study genetics and plant breeding to address this challenge. It is important to produce sustainably by increasing crop diversity. Vigorous varieties can better compete with weeds, reducing the need for using herbicides through conventional breeding or genetic engineering, will increase crop yields.” Dr Jackson N. Sebigunda, PhD


Jackson's working desk at VISTA
Jackson’s working desk at VISTA

BayWa’s stake in VISTA worked together with the ISA fellow Dr Jackson N. Sebigunda, an expert in Genetics and plant breeding from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He advocates for sustainable development, climate-smart agriculture, Nutrition and Food Security. He is optimistic about the alleviation of poverty through sustainable agriculture.

The main objective of Jackson’s internship was to learn basic skills of satellite image processing and analysis useful for his ISA project. To achieve this objective Jackson conducted the following tasks during his internship:

Familiarization in the Earth Observation (EO)-Cloud Platform Food Security Thematic Exploitation Platform (Food Security TEP). Preprocessing of optical satellite data (Sentinel-2) on the Food Security Platform using VISTA’s preprocessing chain for radiometric calibration, atmospheric correction and masking of clouds and cloud shadows of the data. Analysis of the preprocessed satellite data on the Food Security TEP using QGIS. Familiarization with concepts of EO Data Analysis, such as monitoring of land cover and land use, flood mapping, soil moisture monitoring, hyperspectral analysis. Familiarization with EO based Smart Farming services for site-specific land management, e.g. soil probing, site-specific irrigation and fertilization.

Jackson identified an application area for remote sensing data useful to his scientific targets and with the internship at VISTA, he pursued his goal of being able to process satellite data for Smart farming and precision agriculture. Jackson familiarized himself with this completely new field of work within a short duration at VISTA. Impressed by the successful completion of his internship and structural pitching of his project, BayWa Stiftung (a foundation of BayWa _ VISTA) proposed to financially partner with Jackson’s NGO – IHEAD Africa in the implementation of his project in Goma-Congo.