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An integrated approach for monitoring tea plantations in India

Published by:
Publication date
Type of Publication:
Working Papers & Briefs
Focus Region:
Asia and the Pacific
Focus Topic:
Agricultural Value Chains / Agri-Businesses
Type of Risk:
Managerial & operational
Type of Risk Managment Option:
Risk assessment
Rishiraj Dutta
University of Twente, Enschede

This study proposes an approach to develop a simple, time efficient and generic approach to assess and monitor tea plantations in Northeast India using time series remote sensing images. The tea industry in India is in a consolidation phase with the plantations suffering from yield decline and quality. Tea is affected by a plethora of factors including age, environment and management. Therefore, monitoring and analysing growth of tea plantations over space and time is a very important aspect. Remote sensing offers an efficient and reliable means of collecting the information required, in order to map tea type and acreage. Through the use of satellite imageries, information on the health of tea plantations can be extracted. The spectral reflectance of a tea field always varies with respect to the phenology, stage type and crop health and these could be well monitored and measured using multispectral sensors. Information from remotely sensed data can be integrated into GIS by combining with ancillary data which can provide insights to the cultural practices being implied into the cropping system. It will also help farmers identify areas within a field which are experiencing difficulties, so that they can apply, for instance, the correct type and amount of fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide. Using this approach, planters will not only improve the productivity of their land, but will also reduce farm input costs and minimise environmental impacts. Based on this, a stepwise approach has been designed to assess and monitor tea plantations in Northeast India.