Using remote sensing technologies to enhance resource conservation and agricultural productivity in underutilized lands of South Asia

Coimbra, Joao Carlos; Pinto, Iraja Damiani; Wurdig, Norma Luiza; Do Carmo, Dermeval Aparecido

Applied Geography 32(2): 0-765


ISSN/ISBN: 0143-6228
DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2011.08.006
Accession: 036199429

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Satisfying the food demands of an ever-increasing population, preserving the natural resource base, and improving livelihoods are major challenges for South Asia. A large area of land in the Middle and Lower Gangetic Plains of South Asia remains either uncultivated or underused following the rice harvest in the kharif (wet) season. The area includes rice-fallow, estimated at 6.7 million ha, flood-prone riversides ( diara lands, 2.4 million ha), waterlogged areas (4.9 million ha), and salt-affected soils (2.3 million ha). Bringing these lands under production could substantially improve the food supply and enhance livelihoods in the region. This paper describes a methodological. Highlights: We identified underused lands using high resolution satellite data. We found two-third of the total area under wheat was sown late. More than 17% area was water logged or salt affected or remained fallow after rice crop. Matching resource-conserving technologies were targeted in these areas. Methodology is applicable to 15 million ha of underused lands in South Asia.