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Geospatial tech boosts rubber industry

Malaysia: Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (RISDA) in Malaysia considered the use of remote sensing technology and GIS applications to improve the effectiveness of the methodology used in approving the rubber replanting applications received, said Tk. Suriani bt Tk Anuar Zainal, Principal Assistant Director of the IT Department at the RISDA. She was in conversation with FutureGov.
The RISDA is a government agency whose core business is to facilitate the government’s rubber replanting programme. In addition, it is also tasked with ensuring that the economic well-being of the smallholder sector is modernised in all aspects.
Suriani explained that a survey in collaboration with the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency, proved that remote sensing technology is effective in classifying the young and mature rubber trees with 86 percent accuracy. With the favourable results from the initial survey the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) approved the development of the project locally known as e-Kabun, which aims to support the rubber replanting programme of RISDA.
‘e-Kabun,’ literally translated as ‘e-Plantation’ in English, is an application developed which makes use of two technologies; GIS applications and Remote Sensing where the satellite image of SPOT 5 in 10 meter resolution is used as the primary data source and is processed to determine the categories of rubber plantation.
The system also contains information and spatial data from rubber plantations belonging to smallholders and cadastral data from the Department of Survey and Mapping (JUPEM), which are stored in the GIS database.
“e-Kebun serves as an indexed database of digital maps that is capable of displaying visuals on the progress of a lot or plantation more evidently which thus instills confidence to the users and help us and other concerned stakeholders in planning and making decisions more efficiently,” Suriani said.
Suriani added that the use of remote sensing technology is expected to increase the efficiency and quality of RISDA’s delivery system in processing and approving the rubber replanting application to the smallholders from 14 days to 1 day.
The project took off in December 2009, and took RISDA an estimated six months to complete the e-Kabun. “At present, it is being tested in four areas approved by the management and expected to be completed by August 2011, while the project is set to be implemented by January 2012,” Suriani continued.
Source: FutureGov