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Mustard crop to be mapped through satellites  
Government alongwith a crop promotion body, will conduct a pilot project on satellite-based Geographic Information System (GIS) to map the production, acreage and crop condition of mustard from the coming rabi season. According to officials, the GIS will also be used to provide information on spatial distribution of mustard crop, production and estimates, weather forecasting, market price fluctuations in major mustard producing states such as Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. At present, a satellite-based crop estimation technique is used extensively for sugarcane by Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA). Officials said the Mustard Research and Promotion Consortium (MRPC) has been roped in as the nodal agency to manage and collate all the data generated from satellitesources as well as those from field studies. "This technology will be based on maps/topo-sheets to identify the control points and other important agriculture related information of the respective districts," MRPC officials said . The department of biotechnology under the ministry of science and environment will provide the scientific support for the same. Officials said if the pilot to map crop conditions, production and acreage is successful in mustard it will expanded to other crops as well. India annually produces around 6-8 million tonne of mustard seed and ranks third in the world in production, having a market share of 11%. “Decision support system for various applications in major oil seeds is still a big challenge in India and GIS would enable Indian mustard industry, crop advisory agencies and various government departments to address this challenge," Dr Pragya Gupta, senior scientist and assistant director at MRPC said.  
 
 
 
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