FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO strengthens monitoring of cultivated land in Jendouba

Transfer of expertise in crop mapping by remote sensing

Tunis, 25–27 September, 2018:   FAO is conducting training on remote sensing-based crop mapping for qualified Tunisian staff and agricultural engineers representing different directorates of the Ministry of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries. The overall perspective of this training is to be part of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Water Efficiency, Productivity and Sustainability. The workshop is the culmination of a training program developed within the framework of a Swedish International Cooperation Agency (SIDA) project. The training sessions, which were initiated in April 2018 and went on through September 2018, were designed and developed in collaboration with private sector service providers Nieuwland and eLeaf. 

The monitoring of cultivated land is imperative in order to estimate the productivity of water and allow better management in the event of drought. These training activities, which included weekly learning sessions, included not only theoretical components but also real and concrete practical assignments. The trainees benefited from the employment of software, manuals and equipment in order to acquire know-how and skills that are essential for the production of reliable data on the growing areas and their surroundings. 

By working with available satellite imagery and using advanced image processing and classification software, participants were able to share the information collected between themselves. It should be emphasized that this training is the initiation of a dynamic that is basing its sustainability on the monitoring and transfer of this expertise that this first target group working at Jendouba can provide to the other governorates. The monitoring of cultivated land is a constant and regular task that requires regular updates to better develop planning strategies.

The September 25-27 session was the fifth and final block of the training program. During the day of 25 September, 2018, at the opening of the workshop, the feedback from the mapping exercise allowed the trainees to discuss the maps produced by the three fieldwork groups that covered the Jendouba Governorate. This training equipped the experts with a mastery of the cartography of crops, allowing them to be able to autonomously produce regular estimates on the cultivated zones and types of crops and also to deduce from them the farming practices, such as the methods of irrigation. The day of the 27th was dedicated to the discussions on the achievements and future prospects of the training. The Minister of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries chaired the closing session with the Representative of FAO and presented certificates to the trained managers. On this occasion, the minister thanked FAO and the Swedish International Cooperation Agency (SIDA) for their support, stressing its importance for Tunisia in the efficient and effective management of its water resources in agriculture


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