Production forecasting of important agricultural crops using
satellite remote sensing data initiated under the project “Crop
Acreage and Production Estimation” by Space Applications Centre
and carried out over a period of two decades at the behest of
Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India (MOA). Subsequently a more
inclusive model FASAL (Forecasting agricultural output using
Space, Agro-meteorology and Land based observations) was initiated
in 2007-08, and SAC entrusted with the responsibility of
implementing Space technology based production forecast of crops
and upgradation of the procedure with new data availability.
Procedures for multiple forecast of 6 crops viz: Jute,
Kharif rice, winter potato, rapeseed/mustard, Wheat and Rabi rice
has been done. Realising the need to integrate this advanced
technique in the routine crop statistics gathering, Department of
Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC), Ministry of Agriculture, Govt.
of India initiated steps to set up a centre for this purpose.
Accordingly, the centre “Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast
Centre” (MNCFC) has been set up at PUSA, Rajendranagr, New Delhi.
Thus, the centre will be carrying out the operational forecast of
the cops from 2012-13 season onwards.
SAC is now concentrating on developmental activities
related to crop forecasting for other crops viz., sugarcane,
cotton, soybean, pulses etc., use of new sensors, procedure
development, parameter retrieval, biomass estimation, pests and
diseases assessment etc. One major work component identified under
FASAL for 2012 is use of the new Indian C बैंड Synthetic Aperture
Radar (SAR) data from Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT-1) on various
aspects of crop production forecast and condition assessment. The
current FASAL R&D activities include Techniques for Early Area
Estimation of new crops –Sugarcane (using AWiFS), Cotton, Soybean
(using SAR), INSAT CCD–NDVI product generation and experimentation
on International Crop Assessment using EO Data.
Beyond FASAL SAC is involved in National Food Security
Mission (NFSM of DAC) –initiations such as Bringing Green
Revolution to Eastern India (Monitoring the impact on rice
production), Forecasting disease and damage desection (Yellow rust
in wheat), Pulse crop intensification assessment and Techniques
Development for Prototype for crop insurance.