4:45 PM - 5:00 PM
[MSD42-06] Potential Agricultural Applications of Microsatellites for Malaysian Agriculture
With current developments, the idea of using microsatellites as platforms for image acquisitions becomes very attractive as a practical and low cost approach is made available. Though there are a multitude of applications possible with data acquired by microsatellites, this presentation will focus on agriculture applications. Malaysia has 5 millon ha of land under oil palm cultivation. Oil palm is an important food for most of the world, it is the most versatile and efficient vegetable oil in the world, yielding more per hectare than any other edible vegetable oil crop. Currently environmental and nature groups based in Europe have been critical about oil palm cultivation in Malaysia and Indonesia. However, oil palm is cultivated in a systematic and regulatory manner in Malaysia, with 50% of the country still remaining intact as forest. Use of microsatellite data will ensure efficient and effective monitoring of this forest areas from illegal land clearance, illegal logging and other activities detrimental to the environment. Up to date information on landuse for oil palm and forestry can be obtained at very frequent temporal intervals to counter any criticisms on concerns on oil palm cultivation in Malaysia.
Use of such imageries will also help in the precision agriculture applications particularly on using variable rate applications in the oil palm plantations and in paddy farming particularly, with potential applications for example for rubber cultivation, cocoa and pineapples. Apart from fertilizer applications, crop growth monitoring, surveillance against pests and diseases and harvesting are further applications of the imaging technologies. Based on these requirements, the critical bands, its spectral and spatial resolutions identified through local research will be used in the collaborative development of sensors in the satellite building program. Such positive and synergistic efforts will lead to appropriate images being acquired for the needs being addressed.
As crops planted in Malaysia have commonality with crops in Southeast Asia, primarily with Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia, collaborative efforts can be made to share and exchange vital information on the related crops. Thus the microsatellites will not only help to acquire data, but will help bring these neighboring nations closer together.