Academic Venture Fund - 2017
Photosynthesis for Farmers
African farmers face severe agricultural risks from drought, floods, and disease outbreaks. Accurate early predictions can save lives. Relief initiatives like famine early warning systems and index-based agricultural insurance rely on satellite images that show farmland or pasture greenness, but do not directly measure photosynthesis--actual plant functioning. The researchers will develop a new framework to improve yield predictions and emergency response systems, using cutting-edge satellite chlorophyll fluorescence that can probe the molecular process of photosynthesis, including stress-induced degradation in crops.