India to use GIS technology to monitor mustard crop

New Delhi, Oct 30 : Satellite-based advanced technology called Geographic Information System (GIS) will be used to monitor mustard crop in various parts of India, an industry body said Wednesday.

"Mustard crop being the major oilseed crop of India has been first selected for this purpose. This information system model will be replicated to other agricultural crops in future," Mustard Research and Promotion Consortium said in a statement.

Geographic Information System (GIS) will gather information through satellite and act as a third eye to provide information on spatial distribution of mustard crop, production and estimates, weather forecasting and market price fluctuations, it said.

It will be implemented in the major mustard producing states like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana.

"GIS will allow us to integrate our various data inputs and provide real-time access to end-users and decision makers. It will enable us to do things in hours and days that are currently taking weeks and months in rural areas," said Pragya Gupta, senior scientist and assistant director at Mustard Research and Promotion Consortium (MRPC).

GIS support system includes remote sensing, field survey and creation of spatial database for crop estimation and forecast, weather forecast, market price fluctuations and development of a portal which will integrate the whole information for the end-users.

Decision support system for various applications in major oilseeds is still a big challenge in India and GIS will not only help in planning, advising and monitoring the status of the crops but also will help in responding quickly to crop stress conditions and natural calamities, MRPC said.

In India, mustard is the third largest produced oilseed after soybean and groundnut. India's production of mustard was 67.8 lakh tonnes and was grown on 59.2 lakh hectares of area in the year 2011-2012.

Mustard seed is the second largest produced oilseed in the world and is the third leading source of edible oil after palm and soy oils.

--IANS (Posted on 30-10-2013)

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