China will offer financial assistance to Pakistan in launching a project for satellite monitoring of crops
The project will enhance data collection according to current assessments done by Pakistani space agency Suparco. The satellite can, however, monitor only five major crops through real imageries.
The Pakistani Planning Commission has plans to initiate a study through a third-party contract to have an in-depth assessment of overall crop reporting system in the country by all stakeholders.
Upon completion of this study, Suparco along with four provincial agriculture departments will be authorised to undertake an actual assessment of production of main crops in the country.
The project will be executed by Suparco as its initial programme for monitoring of crops through satellite.
The data collection will include input from the crop assessment committees of the provincial agriculture departments, data provided by Suparco and data provided by the relevant sector which consumes agriculture commodities.
At present, Suparco releases monthly forecast of crops based on satellite monitoring. According to officials, a huge variation in the size of crops and actual production against the reported production also negatively impacts growth shown by the agriculture.