Crop Health Monitoring Using IoT-Enabled Precision Agriculture

Crop Health Monitoring Using IoT-Enabled Precision Agriculture

Uferah Shafi, Rafia Mumtaz, Syed Ali Hassan, Syed Ali Raza Zaidi, Awais Akhtar, Muhammad Moeez Malik
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1253-1.ch007
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Agriculture holds paramount significance in Pakistan due to its high impact on gross domestic product (GDP). However, there is huge gap between actual production and estimated production in agriculture due to manual farming system, which is time-consuming, inefficient, and labor-intensive. As of today, ultra-modern technology such as Internet of Things (IoT) can assist in acquiring timely and accurate crop information essential for the success of precision agriculture technology. Towards such ends, the authors propose an IoT-based crop health monitoring system comprised of different sensors used in agricultural fields. Additionally, low altitude remote sensing platforms, such as drones, are used to capture the spectral imagery of the entire crop field of the study region. The development of such a system can be instrumental for crop status monitoring and localizing the areas under stress to maximize the agricultural output by leveraging the IoT technology.
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Food security refers to sufficient availability of safe and nutritious food to the human being. To maintain adequate food production for increasing population in the presence of climatic variation is quite challenging (McGuire, FAO, IFAD, & WFP, 2015). Although, agriculture is considered as a pillar of Pakistan's economy due to its arable land, covering several climatic and ecological zones, still Pakistan is unable to produce surplus yield (Yousaf, Zafar, Anjum & Adil, 2018). Despite of its agricultural land suitable for cultivation, there is a huge gap between the actual and estimated food production which attributed to multiple factors including lack of resources, poor farming practices, extreme climatic variations and technological constraints.

Table 1.
Gap between Actual Yield and Potential Yield
Yield tonnes / hectareWheatRiceSugar CaneMaize
Actual Yield tons2.262.8848.061.77
Potential Yield tons6.865.203009.20
Yield gap in %67%45%84%81%

In Pakistan, multiple types of crops are harvested; most common are wheat, rice, sugar cane and maize. In (Aslam, 2016), a review of yield gap is presented between actual and potential yield. It is reported that the yield gap of rice, sugar cane and maize is 67%, 45%, 84% and 81% respectively as shown in Table-1. Multiple factors affect the health of crops including edaphic and climatic. Edaphic factors are related to soil properties such as soil organic content, soil pH, soil humidity, soil temperature and soil nutrients (phosphorous, nitrogen etc.). While climatic variations are related to the external weather conditions like change in temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind velocity, solar radiation, and atmospheric gases which have significant impact on crop health. Moreover, every crop requires different edaphic and climatic conditions suitable for its optimal growth which vary in complete life cycle of a crop. If a particular crop doesn't meet the required edaphic and climatic conditions, it will result in loss of potential food production. The technique of precision agriculture is widely used worldwide to enhance crops yield but Pakistan still relies on traditional farming practices and farmer's intuition.

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