Agri Punjab, Agriculture Department Agri Sindh, Agriculture Department University of Maryland Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
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Crop masks for Pakistan based on high resolution satellite imagery

Background | Rabi crops | Kharif crops | Downloads |

Agricultural land use information plays a key role in formulating food security policies. With the increase of population pressure throughout the world there is a need for improved system to manage the world's agricultural resources. To make this happen it is first necessary to obtain reliable data, not only about the agricultural areas, but also about specific crops locations. Recent understanding of climate change issues has also produced more interest in accurate information about agricultural land use at local, regional and global scales.

In collaboration with FAO and USDA, SUPARCO is developing standard procedures and producing national crop masks for rabi and kharif crops using high resolution multi-date satellite imagery. >


  • Required to formulate and implement appropriate risk management strategies with respect to food insecurity due to disaster like floods and prevailing climate change.
  • Facilitate policy makers in planning agricultural infrastructure such as research stations, factories, market location, farm to market roads etc.
  • At the core of crop yield forecasting and monitoring systems. Similarly, crop masks are used to aggregate the results to higher administrative levels.
  • Used for better exploitation of the mixed pixels in a coarse resolution imagery which are increasingly used in regional and global crops/ floods modelling systems.

Crop masks for Pakistan
Through the AIS project, crop masks covering Punjab and Sindh provinces are being developed for Rabi (wheat and potato) and Kharif (sugarcane, cotton and rice) crops for the years 2013-2015.

Multiple seasonal acquisitions of SPOT 5 (5 m multispectral) imagery have been used to develop crop masks. Images of peak crop growth stages were used for classification of each crop in both rabi and kharif seasons.

image classification procedure
1st accquisition image (late Dec 2013) is classified masking sugar cane from previous classification.
It reduces inter-crop mixing.

To help in image classification, field surveys were carried out to collect signatures zone wise. These zones include: Punjab South (PSZ), Punjab Central (PCZ), Punjab North-East (PNE), Punjab Potohar (PPZ), Sindh Right (SRZ), Sindh Left (SLZ), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa North (KPN), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa South (KPS) and Baluchistan (BAL). For ground validation and to collect an independent data for accuracy assessment, separate survey campaigns were also conducted.

cropmask Punjab South Zone: wheat crop mask 2013-14 cropmask Upper Sindh Zone: wheat crop mask 2013-14

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Sep 2, 2015 - A new amendment (no. 3) was signed by USDA and FAO to formalize a no-cost extension of the project GCP/PAK/125/USA from Oct 1, 2015 to Sep 30, 2016.

  recent updates

Aug 8, 2016. E-bulletin 11, Apr-Jun 2016.

Aug 5, 2016. E-learning courses on agriculture monitoring and statistics.

Aug 5, 2016. FAO's ECONET approach and land cover change in Pakistan.

Aug 5, 2016. Training on Carbon Sequestration.

Aug 5, 2016. CRS Punjab bulletins Apr 2016.

Apr 22, 2016. Cotton Production & Analytics.

Mar 1, 2016. Testing Sentinel-2 images for crop monitoring in Pakistan.

Feb 20, 2016. Crop Information Portal training.

Jan 20, 2016. Sugarcane Production & Analytics.

Jan 20, 2016. Training on REDD+ Technology for Forest Department Officers of Punjab.

Oct 29, 2014. Agriculture Information System project: roll-out workshop.

Aug 13, 2015. RS/GIS Training in Forest Management, Lahore, 4-8 May 2015.

FAO Pakistan website >>>>


Forum: "Pakistan Agriculture Sector". >>>>


SUPARCO, the National Space Agency of Pakistan >>>>


Government of Sindh: Agriculture Department >>>>


Agri Punjab >>>>

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