With the world’s population expected to grow to almost 10 billion by 2050, that’s an awful lot of mouths to feed. But satellite technology can play a key part in meeting this ever-growing need, through the rise of high-resolution imagery.

“There’s an opportunity to try and do things in a way we couldn’t even dream of just a few years ago,” said Nagaraja Rao Harshadeep, lead environmental specialist and global lead for watersheds at the World Bank. “A real paradigm shift is happening in terms of the kinds of activities that we can support now using a lot of these new technologies.”

Not only have recent years seen the development of much cheaper, smaller satellites in lower-Earth orbits, but mobile devices have also boosted the ability to transfer information between tech providers and farmers. The European Space Agency’s launch of the Sentinel-2 satellites as part of the Copernicus program in the past few years has also been a big step forward in high-resolution, publicly available imagery.

Among the companies seeking to drive things forward is Planet Labs, in which the World Bank invested $20 million in 2015 through its sister organization the International Finance Corporation. The company has so far put 200 of its shoebox-sized Dove satellites in orbit and last year reached the stage where it had enough satellites to image all of Earth’s landmass every day.

Read the full article about the space-age approach to food security by Gareth Willmer at Devex International Development.