farm-to-market linkages for bottom up innovation


Challenge identifier: DPC4-2018


Proposed by

GROW Observatory is a European Commission Horizon 2020 project led by the University of Dundee, engaging individuals and communities focused on organic and sustainable growing practices across Europe.



Soil moisture levels are key for successful agriculture. It is currently measured through satellite imagery with a very small number of ground measurements.. GROW Observatory is the first of its kind to collect  data on soil moisture from thousands of participants across Europe, via GROW’s sensors. The collection of ground truth data enables the calibration of remote-sensing data and supports the interpretation and analysis of what is being recorded. These measurements will have significant impacts on scientific understanding of the role of soil moisture on several key variables such as soil erosion, flood risk, or fire risk.



The challenge is to use GROW soil moisture data to develop a data-driven service for sustainable and/or locally sourced organic food, creating farm-to-market linkages for micro-sized growers (individuals or community farms) engaged in sustainable practices in food production in one or more European countries.



  • Citizen-generated high-resolution time series soil moisture data across Europe
  • Sentinel-1 backscatter composite imaging (closed dataset)
  • Survey data on land cover, land use and soil condition

ASCAT soil moisture time series and active/passive soil moisture data are both available as open data from Copernicus.

More detailed information about the data can be found in our data catalogue


Expected outcomes

  • A minimum viable product of a digital application that enables the discovery of locally produced food using sustainable and responsible production practices
  • Tools for  hyper-localised buyers who are seeking such supplies for daily consumption

Expected impacts

  • Enabling of  new revenue streams and buyer discovery for micro farms engaged in organic sustainable farming
  • Creation of new choices for local buyers to source food from local communities
  • Service uptake by at least 250 micro-sized farms/individuals within 2 years of availability