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Potential uses of remote sensing in smallholder context

The use of remote sensing (RS) data for agricultural management is mostly practiced in the developed world (e.g., Europe and North America) where agriculture is mechanized and practiced on a large scale. Specifically, RS data have been found to be useful to monitor crop growth and performance, to estimate cropped area and predict crop yields in these areas. However, in the smallholder agricultural areas of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and southern Asia, the potential benefits of RS data in agricultural management have not been sufficiently exploited. Considering the increasing availability of RS data (including open access) and the advent of new and relatively inexpensive imaging platforms such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), it has become imperative to investigate how RS data can support the management of smallholder agricultural systems. Drawing on the experiences gained within the STARS project, this chapter highlights the potentials and challenges in the use of RS data for agricultural management in smallholder dominated areas.