4. 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, some parts of Asia and North & South America) where agriculture is mechanized and practiced on a large scale. Specifically, RS data have been found to be useful for monitoring crop growth and performance, estimating cropped area and predicting crop yields in these areas. However, in smallholder agricultural areas such as sub-Saharan Africa and 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 like that of Sentinel platforms) 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. This chapter highlights the potentials and challenges in the use of RS data for agricultural management in smallholder dominated areas.