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Restructure Agricultural Statistics: Monitoring Agriculture with Remote Sensing (MARS) project

URL: http//

Objectives: The primary objectives of this project are:

  • To provide technical support to the EAGGF (European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund) as wells as to the Member States' Administrations in order to improve and industrialize their methods using remote sensing methods.
  • To provide a framework for implementation of the remote sensing technology assessing the use of high-resolution satellite images as part of the measures to be taken by the national governments to improve the ground survey estimates based on an area frame sampling rather than the holding-based approach.
  • To report timely and accurate results of area estimates obtained from the implementation of this fast acquisition statistical data methodology.
    Contribution of Greece in the developments of the MARS project objectives
  • Activity A (Regional inventories): This activity consists mainly of the development, implementation and assessment of crop acreage in the Greek territory, using remotely sensed data (Spot and Landsat-tm images) and the area frame sampling methodology. Cultivations include wheat (soft, durum), barley, maize, cereals, cotton, tobacco, sugar beets, olive trees, vineyards, etc.
  • Activity B (European rapid estimates of acreage and potential yields): This activity provides rapid estimates on the Greek scale of actually planted areas of the main annual crops, as compared to the previous season.
  • Improvement - development and assessment of the agricultural statistical surveys. Completion of software development or improvement, including modifications, expansion, or re-development.
    The stratification method

    The stratification method is implemented gradually in all Greek territory and is finalized in 1995..Samples are obtained by dividing a region into blocks of equal (square) shape and repeating a pattern of elements across the region. Thus, a two-dimensional systematic aligned sampling methodology, with a distance threshold in a stratified area frame on a square grid is developed. The revised methodology is based on systematic aligned sampling techniques; it uses census elements (1991) and provides limited number of strata. The classification is simpler, easier and less costly to implement than the one that is in current use. The developed regression model provided more accurate and viable acreage estimates than a previously applied model and it may be extended to all cultivated Hellenic regions.

    Support: ลล/DG.VI, National Statistical Services of Greece (NSSG), Hellenic Ministry of Agriculture.
    Duration: 1995-1997.
    Coordinator: T. Tsiligiridis (Agricultural University of Athens)
    Partners: National Statistical Services of EU, Eurostat