Estimation of Wheat Growing Areas in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a landlocked country with an arid and semi-arid climate. Eleven percent of the arable land lies in temperate ecological zones. Wheat is a major crop and staple food covering 80% of the total cereal planted area in Afghanistan. Climatic conditions such as droughts, increased incidences of pests and crop disease, lack of irrigation, changing farming practices, increased use of pesticides and insecticides, and land preparation, among others, hamper wheat productivity. Despite being a significant producer, Afghanistan still imports wheat from other countries.

The timely forecast of wheat production is highly important for planning and ensuring food security in cases where shortages are predicted.

The objective of this study is to utilize remote sensing techniques for estimation of wheat growing areas in Afghanistan using a phenology-based approach with multi-temporal satellite imagery and Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform.

This study will be developed to encompass the following:

  • Development of an operational system for in-season monitoring of wheat crops at high spatial resolutions
  • Quantitative estimation of wheat growing areas to support yield estimation
  • Automation of the estimation process and hand-over to the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), Government of Afghanistan
  • Capacity building of MAIL staff for operation and maintenance of the system

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