India grapples with immediate agriculture challenges such as depleting groundwater resources, climate change, and extreme events like droughts and floods. Shifting weather patterns such as the increase in temperature, changes in precipitation levels, and ground water density, can affect farmers, especially those who are dependent on timely rains for their crops. Tamil Nadu, with high reliance of rice in the agricultural sector wrestles with similar challenges and faces threats to sustainable rice production. In order to cater to the challenges of water scarcity, climate change and decreasing input use efficiencies, a significant number of scientific interventions have been developed in recent years. Monitoring the production of field crops is important for ensuring food security in India. Accurate and consistent information on the area under production is necessary for national and state planning but conventional statistical methods cannot always meet the requirements. Conventional methods of assessing the information is tedious process which are time consuming and laboriuous.
Inorder to cater the needs of the policy makers in decision making, Remote sensing tools is inevitable in providing timely and precise information over a larger area. With the view to address various fields of Agriculture management, Department of Remote Sensing and GIS was started with the following mandates and research focus.
Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) technologies are widely used in various fields of agriculture viz., Soil Resource Management, Watershed Management, Land Degradation Assessment, Command Area Development, Monitoring and Assessment of Soil Moisture, Monitoring of in-season Agricultural Operations, Crop Inventory, Crop Health Monitoring, Crop Damage Assessment etc. Remote Sensing and GIS is used as a decision making tool for optimization of resource utilization, distribution of agricultural inputs and marketing activities.
Realizing the utility of Remote Sensing and GIS techniques, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University implemented a scheme on, ‘Remote Sensing for Agricultural Applications’ in 1990. It was functioning as a unit in the Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry and was established as a separate department in 2010 by involving the scientists of various disciplines for wider application of remote sensing and GIS techniques in the areas related to agriculture.
- To teach applications of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System in agriculture to the students and research scholars
- To generate and assemble geo-spatial data on natural resources
- To provide geo-spatial data on natural resources for the research teams and extension personnel
- To support Human Resource Development in various agricultural applications of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System in agricultural sector