‘G-tech plays vital role in sustainable agriculture’

‘G-tech plays vital role in sustainable agriculture’

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: “Sustainable agriculture development depends on correct planning, decision and management, whereas soil resource and land use information have significant impact on successful agriculture planning and decisions,” observed Hj. Ismail bin Hj. Hashim, Principal Assistant Director, Department of Agriculture (DOA), Malaysia. He was addressing the Agro-Informatics and Precision Agriculture session, on the third day of Asia Geospatial Forum 2013 here.

He added, “Demand from stakeholders on geospatial soil and land use information for project planning and practical decision-making is increasing. The DOA has taken initiatives to meet the demand. GIS in the DOA is being used in the preparation of soil series map, erosion risk map, agriculture rainfall index maps, crop zone map and other derivative maps. Initial work on land use map at the scale of 1:10,000 has already been started in early 2010.”

Mark Heyward, Regional Manager – APAC (Agriculture Division), Trimble Navigation, Australia, said, “Trimble”s land laser levelling tool has proved quite successful in Asia. It helps farmers in optimising irrigation system, weeds eradication and also improves seed quality.” He stressed, “Using land laser levelling, Vietnamese farmers could get 6 to 7.7 tonnes per hectare rice yield, which was earlier 4.6 tons per hectare.”

Arnel De Mesa, Deputy Director – Mindanao Rural Development Program, Department of Agriculture, Philippines, stated, “Philippines in collaboration with World Bank will invest PhP 27.5 billion ($0.63 billion)in the Philippines Rural Development Programme (PRDP) during 2013-19. In addition, we are collaborating with the Bank for Mindanao Rural Development Project 2 (worth $84 million). The project aims to institutionalise a decentralised system for agriculture.”

Dr. Shinichi Sobue, General Manager – Planning Department, Remote Sensing Technology Center, Japan, observed, “Asian countries are responsible for approximately 90% of the world rice production and consumptions. “ He added, “GEOGLAM was developed in response to the G20 Agricultural Ministers’ concern about market volatility for the world’s major crops (wheat, maize, soybeans and rice). Agencies in Asia lunched Asia-RiCE (Asia Rice Crop Estimation & Monitoring) component for GEOGLAM to provide information to AMIS.”

Dr. M. Lorraine Tighe, Director, Geospatial Solutions, Intermap Technologies, USA, observed, “Oil Palm plantations in Sabah, Malaysia, covers more than 700,000 hectares in East Sabah. It provides the highest yield of oil palm fresh fruit bunch per hectare in Asia. It is an important agriculture sector for the Malaysian economy in terms of export earnings.” She added, “Accurate and reliable three dimensional and near real-time geospatial information is needed for sustainable oil palm plantation management, especially on plant quality, health, and crop yield calculations.” She offered Intermap’s Orion Platform solutions for the Oil Palm plantation. The platform includes foundation data layers coupled with satellite-based imagery to provide recent agricultural crop information for oil palm plantation planning, management and sustainable development.

Source: Our Correspondent