The UAE’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is now using satellite images as part of its strategy to deploy the Geographical Information System (GIS) to locate water resources and provide agricultural data, maps and information to boost agricultural productivity.
The initiative is part of the Ministry’s plan to use the best technology to boost farming in the country. “GIS is the latest device available to store, recover, analyze and display accurate data through a processes that takes into account the longitude, latitude and radius of the earth,” said Mohammed Sagar Al Assam, Assistant Undersecretary for Water and Soil Sector at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Al Assam said information provided by this system is able to analyse data related to any area of the UAE at a particular time. The system also assesses resource management alternatives to help in the decision making process, to water or add fertilizer, for example.
The process includes importing data from paper and digital maps, aerial images and through earth surveillances. It then stores and recovers the information before analyzing it to provide answers to specific queries. The end product is displayed as maps and reports which give a full picture of the environment and its resources.
Alasam said the information is playing an increasingly crucial role in assessing crop condition – the different phases of growth can be observed in minute detail and in helping to discover those areas that need water and fertilizer.
Al Asam said one of the main benefits of GIS is the improved management of organisations and resources. A GIS can link data sets by common locational data, such as addresses, which helps departments and agencies share their data. It is also becoming essential to certain areas of decision-making.
Its ability to process data and use it to answer questions about specific locations obtain accurate reports was particularly evident in the study of Wadi Ham, where the analysis helped identify the best areas for agricultural activity. It is also able to grade water and soil quality and identify where water might be located so that wells can be dug. (menareport.com)
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