Remote Sensing and Indian Agriculture
Authors: Raghuveer Singh, Roshan Lal Meena and Raman Sharma

Remote sensing is the science of obtaining information about an objects or areas from a distance. In the remote sensing the information generated about an object without come in physical contact with the object. One of the biggest advantages of remote sensing that we can generate information of a large area, 24 hours and then store it for further use in future with the help different remote sensing tools. Information generated by the remote sensing are unbiased and very less human error that’s why demand for remote sensing increasing day by day in different fields of our daily life. Remote sensing now a days a part of our daily life and it is penetrating in many field of our daily work. Agriculture is a vast field job and lot of variability present in the data and its difficult to generate the exact information timely by our traditional approach in which field workers generate the information than compile it and make final reports. In all these process lot of time consumed and the value of information generated is not so fruitfull result in real sense. Environmental factors (rainfall, temperature and wind) involvement and there possible interaction with each other makes it further cumbersome to generate exact information in agriculture. Indian agriculture still not utilizing the full potential of remote sensing and one of the reason behind it that small holding, in India more than 85% farmers comes under small and marginal farmers and farming in India not so organized. It is just substance level farming where farmers grow different crops and other farming component to sustain their livelihood. In India lot of opportunities to utilize the remote sensing technology by the using the government interventions at individual farmers level it is not possible because of economics factor or it cant cover large number of farmers. In the future remote sensing will be definitely a part of the Indian farming to make it more efficient and economical. In India maximum government department use the agriculture statics which are generated by the different farm workers but in that lot of variability are present. To get the exact information within a time frame remote sensing can help a lot.

Component of remote sensing

  1. Energy source or illumination
  2. Radiation and the Atmosphere
  3. Interaction with target
  4. Recording of energy by the sensor
  5. Transmission, Reception and Processing
  6. Interpretation and analysis
  7. Application
Application of remote sensing in agriculture

  1. Yield estimation
  2. Monitoring and assessment loss due to flood
  3. Monitoring and assessment of drought
  4. Watershed management
  5. Disease and pest monitoring
  6. Monitoring of crop residue burning in field
  7. Deforestation
  8. Scheduling irrigation
  9. Land survey mapping
  10. Precision agriculture
  11. Fight ways All above are the agriculture areas given as a references in which we can utilize the remote sensing by the help of the government efforts. Recently government of India start using the remote sensing to monitor the residue burning in the Punjab and Haryana by the help remote sensing centre in the respective state (PPCB, 2015; Yadav et al., 2014). But government should give the more priority in the other possible sector of agriculture to make it more efficient. Other than the residue burning Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre (MNCFC), New Delhi run the following national programmes in country (Ray, 2016).

    Major National level Programmes
  • FASAL (Forecasting Agricultural output using Space, Agrometeorlogy & Land based observations)
  • NADAMS (National Agricultural Drought Assessment & Monitoring System)
  • CHAMAN (Coordinated Horticulture Assessment and MAnagement using geoiNformatics)
  • KISAN (C[K]rop Insurance using Space technology And geoiNformatics )

If Government of India really wants to uplift the farmers income he must need to think beyond the traditional approach, he also try use the remote sensing to generate information so farmers get benefited. Because timely and precise information help us to take a right decision and take action accordingly.


* Ray SS (2016) Remote Sensing for Agricultural Applications, Accessed on December 20, 2017

* PPCB (2015) Monitoring Residue Burning through Satellite Remote Sensing, Report prepared by Punjab remote sensing centre, Ludhiana and submitted to Punjab pollution control board Patiala, Punjab, India. Accessed on 11 October 2017

* Yadav M, Prawasi R, Jangra S, Rana P, Kumari K, Lal S, Jakhar K, Sharma S and Hooda R S (2014) Monitoring seasonal progress of rice stubble burning in major rice growing districts of Haryana, India, using multi date AWiFS data. The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, XL-8, ISPRS Technical Commission VIII Symposium, 09 - 12 December 2014, Hyderabad, India.

About Author / Additional Info:
I am working as a scientist at ICAR-IIFSR, Modipuram, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India.