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Research project

Exploring satellite datasets and advanced statistical models to estimate crop production in Iraq

Project overview

Ensuring food security and shaping policy intervention require accurate and timely mapping and monitoring of agricultural dynamics and production. Many low- and middle-income countries do not have sufficient information on agricultural outputs to inform policy decisions and enable field monitoring – especially at the level of individual farms. This lack of high spatial resolution data is particularly acute in conflict zones. Working with the University of Sulaimani and the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resource,

Remote-sensing based approaches that adopt satellite imagery have proved useful in such regions where surveyors are not able to gain access due to security challenges. Satellite imagery data can support decision-making through enabling cost-effective monitoring systems that complement traditional approaches for collecting agricultural data.

This project aims to evaluate the potential of Sentinel-2 satellite derived measures of greenness and productivity to model and predict crop yield in smallholder arid and semi-arid farming systems, using Iraq as a case study. Adopting a fitting Bayesian multiple linear regression modelling approach to this data will aid the prediction of agricultural outputs. Quantifying farm-level crop production in advance could help policy makers, scientists and decision-makers improve agricultural management and food security under a variety of environmental conditions.

Sarchil Hama Qader, Chigozie Edson Utazi, Rhorom Priyatikanto, Peshawa Najmaddin, Emad Omer Hama-Ali, Nabaz R. Khwarahm, Andrew J. Tatem, Jadu Dash,
Exploring the use of Sentinel-2 datasets and environmental variables to model wheat crop yield in smallholder arid and semi-arid farming systems,
Science of The Total Environment,
Volume 869,
ISSN 0048-9697,

Qader, S.H.; Priyatikanto, R.; Khwarahm, N.R.; Tatem, A.J.; Dash, J. Characterising the Land Surface Phenology of Middle Eastern Countries Using Moderate Resolution Landsat Data. Remote Sens. 2022, 14, 2136.


Lead researcher

Dr Sarchil Qader PhD

Senior Research Fellow

Research interests

  • Dr Sarchil is a Senior Research Fellow within the WorldPop research group ( in close collaboration with multiple organizations across the world, whose activities combine research and enterprise. He designs innovative research ideas using big datasets such as remote sensing to improve traditional methods in the application of national population sampling frames for low- and middle-income countries and in agriculture. 
Connect with Sarchil

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups