Agricultural Remote Sensing Lab

Host University

University of Agriculture, Faisalabad


Pakistan possesses an agrarian economy, where agriculture contributes about 21% to our GDP, makes up nearly 50% of the work force, and provides livelihood to more than 67% of our population, most of which resides in rural areas. Since agriculture uses majority of our land, water and soil resources; therefore, effective management of these resources is directly related to sustainable agricultural development and poverty reduction. Some of the challenges facing Pakistan’s water sector include intensity and extremes of rainfall; widespread glacial melts; increased non-beneficial evaporation; and changes in soil moisture and runoff. In addition to these challenges, increased demand for water (urban and rural) and competition among its users can impact food security and increase pressures on aquifers.

Remote sensing through satellite imagery can help estimate Land Use and Land Cover (LULC), rainfall, soil moisture, groundwater abstractions, canopy cover and total evapotranspiration (ET) without acquiring extensive ground data. Maps can be developed to provide information on crop water use, biomass and yield, thus overall water productivity of each agro-ecological zone. Regional monitoring of cropping systems and biomass/yield estimation are of significant interest for the sustainable development of agriculture, managing agricultural lands, and determining food pricing and policies.

The development of advanced methodologies at the proposed lab parameterized through satellite data will be helpful to develop near future yield forecasts, estimate biomass and reflectance based soil characteristics, gap-fill missing weather information and provide strategies for climate risk mitigation, reallocations and transfers.

Research Domains

Domain 1 – Water

1. To develop mechanism for determining regional scale water availability, stress and diversions from PRSS satellite imagery

2. To formulate PRSS satellite-based techniques for assessing actual crop-water use and projecting agricultural water shortages

3. To develop digital image processing protocols for pattern recognition and change detection in regional scale snow covers, precipitation and soil-moisture

4. To develop framework at basin level equitable water allocations and distribution for irrigated agriculture

Domain 2 – Soil

1. To develop techniques to synthesize high resolution soil moisture maps using PRSS satellite imagery

2. To upscale existing GIS based soil maps of Punjab using PRSS satellite information for agricultural areas of irrigated Indus Basin

Domain 3 – Crops

1. To develop satellite-imagery integrated mechanistic models for Crop-water productivity mapping

2. To improve crop coefficients in variable agro-ecological zones of the country using newly available PRSS satellite imagery

3. To improve existing crop models by integrating satellite-imagery for regional scale agro-ecosystems modelling and yield estimates

Focused SDGs

  • No Poverty

  • Zero Hunger

  • Good Health and Wellbeing

  • Quality Education

  • Gender Equality
  • Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Reduced Inequality
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Climate Action
  • Life Below Water

  • Life On Land

Principal Investigator/Lab Director

Dr. Muhammad Adnan Shahid
Dr. Muhammad Adnan Shahid University of Agriculture, Faisalabad.
Phone: 041-9200161-70 Ext 3010