Application of remote sensing for assessing crop situation is, however not a new exercise in the country. It is being applied by the Union agriculture ministry in collaboration with the department of space in the project called FASAL for forecasting crop production.
The project will simulate data from six satellites and develop bio-mass index for different crops and forecast the health of the crops on real time basis, which would eventually help in forecasting production.
Farmers can also be warned in time about the danger to standing crops, said the Union minister for science and technology, Kapil Sibal.The news project will source real time data from IRS List 3 satellite of Indian Space Research Organisation, the US satellite Land Set and from four satellites of the global consortium Observing System. The joint secretary in the science and technology ministry, Sanjiv Naik said, The satellite data would help us to construct us to construct bio-mass index, but we would also need GIS data relating to village boundary and other auxillary data like soil and atmospheric moisture, rainfall, temperature. Sibal said that capacity has been built to assess per hectare production in a village for wheat, mustard, gram in winter season and for paddy and cotton in summer season.
He said that a pilot project was taken up for Haryana in 2005-06 which predicted the damage to the wheat crop.