Stimulating Innovation for
Global Monitoring of Agriculture

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SIGMA third annual meeting

List of all the Sigma news


In the week of 11-14 October 2016, SIGMA’s third annual meeting took place in Kiev, Ukraine. The meeting was again organized in collaboration with the S2-AGRI project and the JECAM initiative.

The focus of the SIGMA meeting was on:

  • outlining the planning for the final phase of SIGMA
  • discussing the development of a new generation of cross
  • site experiments in cooperation with the JECAM partners.
  • providing updates on different research components


As SIGMA is entering it’s final phase a lot of the discussions focused on consolidating the results and transferring the generated knowledge. This will be done through the Science reports of the different work packages but it is clear that the capacity building efforts of SIGMA will also play a crucial role in this.

However, the SIGMA team also discussed on the continuation and development of new cross-site experiments in support and collaboration of the JECAM initiative, aimed at streamlining state-of-the-art in situ and remote sensing methodologies across the different JECAM sites, pioneering in worldwide agricultural research beyond the extent and live span of SIGMA.

The Final day of the SIGMA meeting was used for training sessions on agricultural statistics, crop growth models and yield estimations.

  1. The global validation effort, where a global reference dataset for validating crop maps is being built based on a unique combination of expert knowledge and crowd sourcing.
    Expert validation Tool (4000 samples)
    Crowd sourcing validation tool (50000 samples)
  2. Land cover and cropland assessment, leading to a new global land cover (change) map and cropland statistics
  3. Agricultural productivity, including global and regional trend analyses which have now been finalized, and ongoing work on yield gap analyses from which the potential for agricultural intensification can be derived.
  4. Environmental impact assessment of land use change, starting from analyses at the local JECAM sites, followed by upscaling to a global environmental impact analysis making use of the GLOBIOM model.
  5. Capacity building, for which a set of three training modules are being developed, each consisting of about 10 lessons that are aimed at transferring the knowledge gained in SIGMA to the global stakeholders.