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CropSAT – opportunities for applications in precision agriculture in Africa

Alshihabi, Omran; Nouiri, I.; Mechri, M.; Angar, H.; Piikki, Kristin; Martinsson, J.; Söderström, Mats


The present paper aims at describing the CropSAT system, a Sentinel-2-based interactive decision support system (DSS) that provides vegetation index (VI) maps free-of-charge all across the globe for different applications in precision agriculture. We summarize research results from the ongoing developmental process and pointing to opportunities for development and application in precision agriculture in Africa. The DSS was initially developed in a research project at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), and has since its launch in 2015 been continuously developed in a private-public-partnership between SLU, private companies and the Swedish Board of Agriculture. One of the main applications of CropSAT is providing spatial variation maps of several VIs to be used in variable rate application (VRA) of any input in agriculture (fertilizers, pesticides or growth regulators). These maps could be either downloaded in different formats compatible with a wide range of spreaders/sprayers available in the machinery market, or printed out to be used manually or with the help of smart phones localization apps, for example to support discussion in advisory situations. Such a DSS is an appropriate platform for developing other application using the satellite images like nitrogen uptake estimation, protein content/yield prediction and water stress assessment. Ongoing research is now running to develop and integrate models in CropSAT for new applications and the tool is subject of research and development projects in other countries worldwide. An initial study was carried out to test the DSS in Tunisia in collaboration between SLU, the National Agronomic Institute of Tunisia (INAT) and the National Institute of Field Crops (INGC) to assess the feasibility for application under arid and semi-arid climate where different crops varieties are used. Further development in Tunisia will focus on integrating crops water status indices in order to use the tool for irrigation water management. Now CropSAT has continuously updated global coverage with new satellite images (about every three days in North Africa), and is provided in multiple languages including English, Arabic and French.

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Titel: Proceedings of the 1st African Conference on Precision Agriculture (AfCPA)

Utgivare: African Plant Nutrition Institute


1st African Conference on Precision Agriculture, 8-10 December 2020, Tunis, Tunisia