Indonesia to use remote sensing data for rice cultivation

Image courtesy of LAPAN.

Yesterday, Indonesia’s space agency held a National Seminar for Remote Sensing (Sinas Inderaja) in Depok, West Java, which aimed to educate stakeholders on how earth observation and remote sensing technology can help in making Indonesia’s domestic economy self-sustaining.

Among the highlights was an announcement that Indonesia will work to use remote sensing data in the field of rice cultivation, primarily by monitoring rice growth.

Explained Head of LAPAN, Prof. Dr. Thomas Djamaluddin, “We don’t have an accurate picture of the land areas taken up by rice fields, as well as the growth phases of rice in each region. This makes it difficult to predict the yearly harvest, and poses problems in fertilizer distribution.”

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This year, LAPAN hopes to use remote sensing data to help 15 rice-growing provinces in Indonesia.

Representatives from LAPAN also highlighted two examples of how remote sensing has been of use to the local economy. The first is Indonesia’s Potential Fishing Zones (ZPPI) programme, which helps fisherman locate areas with the greatest potentials for fishery. Another is in the oil palm sector, in which remote sensing data has helped with land management and clearing.

The seminar also showed how remote sensing in Indonesia is used to solve developmental issues, such as providing geospatial information and aiding urban development. Also, remote sensing has been used extensively for disaster monitoring in a country susceptible to forest fires, floods, landslides, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.


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