Accurate crop type maps provide critical information for ensuring food security, yet there has been limited research on crop type classification for smallholder agriculture, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where risk of food insecurity is highest. Publicly-available ground-truth data such as the newly-released training dataset of crop types in Kenya (Radiant MLHub) are catalyzing this research, but it is important to understand the context of when, where, and how these datasets were obtained when evaluating classification performance and using them as a benchmark across methods. In this paper, we provide context for the new western Kenya dataset which was collected during an atypical 2019 main growing season and demonstrate classification accuracy up to 64% for maize and 70% for cassava using k Nearest Neighbors—a fast, interpretable, and scalable method that can serve as a baseline for future work.that existing GAN approaches to novelty detection may be limited in this respect.
Recommended citation: Kerner, H. R., Nakalembe, C., Becker-Reshef, I. (2020). "Field-level crop type classification with k-nearest neighbors: A baseline for a new Kenya smallholder dataset." In Proceedings of the International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR) Workshops.