“We are working with Iran using advanced geospatial technologies to support the development of techniques, as well as policy and investment conditions to achieve sustainable agricultural development under climate change, in Iran,” said Douglas Muchoney, the senior environment officer and head of FAO’s Geospatial Unit, Tasnim News Agency reported.
He added, “More frequent and extreme climate events, such as floods, drought and frost, are adversely affecting agricultural production in Iran and this needs a comprehensive, systematic and accurate agricultural monitoring system.”
The report presents current data collection practices used by the Iranian Ministry of Agricultural Jihad, revealing, for instance, the lack of timely and cost-effective procedures in place that also relied on old census data and sampling techniques. The report also looks in detail at the application of remote sensing in agricultural data collection and a previously implemented pilot project in the western Iranian province of Hamedan.
Under the project, FAO’s Geospatial Unit also organized a one week study tour in FAO headquarters for two delegations from the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad. Through similar ongoing projects in FAO, the participants had a chance to understand better how effective monitoring works in practice.
Meeting with experts from different FAO departments, the group had the opportunity to look at areas of work and tools including Aquastat, Land Tenure and Cadastral, Disaster Risk Reduction, National Forest Monitoring and Agro-Ecological Zoning (AEZ). The study tour also focused on training in how to use SEPAL – System for Earth Observation Data Access, Processing and Analysis for Land Monitoring – and how to map paddy fields in the northern Iranian province of Mazandaran using Sentinel 1 imagery.
Underscoring the significance of this one week study tour to FAO headquarters, Keyvan Keshavaraz, the deputy Agricultural Jihad minister, asserted, “Effective agricultural monitoring systems in the Islamic Republic of Iran are starting to provide data that is fundamental for making informed decisions regarding solutions for inland areas affected by climate change.”
The tour was evidence of Iran’s commitment to strengthening and improving its agricultural monitoring system using advanced geospatial technologies.
FAO is working to develop more-efficient and more-accurate methods of using remote sensing information for crop acreage, yield estimation and crop forecasting. The goal is to set up efficient national monitoring systems that will allow policymakers and others to take timely decisions that protect people and their livelihoods.