Agriculture was a major focus in the early development of remote sensing and today remains a major driver of global Earth Observation programmes. India, which started its remote sensing activity 50 years back, in 1969, with the famous coconut root wilt assessment experiment, has continued to develop its national agricultural remote sensing program and remains a leader in remote sensing applications for national development. The complexity, heterogeneity and the dynamic nature of agriculture around the world, presents a number of challenges for effective monitoring and assessment from space. Over the past fifty years, due to limited sensing capabilities the potential of global agricultural remote sensing was never fully realized. However, recent significant technological advances including: the increased availability of free and open moderate-resolution data in the optical, thermal and microwave domains; fine resolution data available from multiple sources; new analysis capabilities such as Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, Big Data Analytics, Cloud-computing; IoTs and UAVs, open new opportunities. Hence, Earth Observation is being increasingly used for operational applications in agriculture. Information derived from remotely sensed data and combined with other information, is being used to support decisions for agricultural development. This increased interest in remote sensing of agriculture has prompted more coordinated efforts, nationally, regionally and globally. To mark 50 years of remote sensing in India and to contribute to this international coordination, an international workshop is planned to review the status of Earth Observation for agricultural monitoring, at global, regional and national levels, and to discuss and propose the future course of action.
The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) is a non-governmental organization devoted to the development of international cooperation for the advancement of photogrammetry and remote sensing and their applications. It functions through various Commissions and Working Groups. The Working Group 10 of the Commission III (Remote Sensing) deals with Agriculture and Natural Ecosystems Modeling and Monitoring.
GEOGLAM, the GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring initiative, was initially launched by the Group of Twenty (G20) Agriculture Ministers in June 2011, in Paris. The main objective of GEOGLAM is to reinforce the international community’s capacity to produce and disseminate relevant, timely and accurate projections of agricultural production at national, regional and global scales by using Earth Observation data.
Indian Society of Remote Sensing (ISRS) was established in 1969 with the main objective of advancement and dissemination of remote sensing technology in the fields of mapping, planning and management of natural resources and environment by organizing seminars/symposia and by publishing a quarterly journal (JISRS), bulletins, proceedings, etc. The Society has a membership of over 5150 members. ISRS is a member of the ISPRS. ISRS Delhi Chapter is one of the most active chapters of the Society
Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre (MNCFC) is a national centre under the Department of Agriculture, Coop. & Farmers’ Welfare of Ministry of Agriculture & FW. The centre, established in 2012, works for space technology applications in agriculture, through various national level programmes.
Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), popularly known as Pusa Institute, is the leading institution for agricultural research, education and extension in the country. The Division of Agricultural Physics, IARI was partner to the country’s 1st remote sensing experiment.
The goal of SARI (South/Southeast Asia Research Initiative) is to develop an innovative regional research, education and capacity building program involving state-of-the-art remote sensing, natural sciences, engineering and social sciences to enrich Land Cover/Land Use Change (LCLUC) science in South/Southeast Asia.
Asia-Rice is the work of an ad hoc team of stakeholders with an interest in the development of an Asian Rice Crop Estimation & Monitoring (Asia-RiCE) component for the GEOGLAM initiative.