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Satellite imagery confirms reduction in cultivated area in Mayendit County

  • Special Report
  • South Sudan
  • August 29, 2014
Satellite imagery confirms reduction in cultivated area in Mayendit County

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USGS
  • During a July 2014 rapid assessment in Unity State, residents of Tharker (Mayendit County), and Bieh, Boaw, and Dor (Koch County) reported that up to 30 percent of households had not planted. In addition, respondents reported that among households that did plant, area planted had declined.
  • To triangulate these findings, FEWS NET/USGS analyzed high resolution satellite imagery covering a 4.5 km radius around Tharker village. Imagery from July 2014 was divided into a 100 meter dot grid and interpreted by staff at the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center in Sioux Falls, SD. Each grid dot was classified as not cultivated, cultivated this year, cultivated this year but no crops growing, fallow, or settlement (Figure 2). A similar analysis was conducted using imagery from June 2012 (a relatively normal year for cropping) (Figure 1). The two sets of results were then compared to assess whether any changes to cropped area had occurred.
  • A comparison of the 2012 and 2014 indicates that planted area has declined by roughly 30 percent (Table 1). In addition, during image interpretation, fields were classified as cultivated if any crops were present, even if only a small portion of the grid square was planted or crop conditions were poor. Therefore, the 30% decline in planted areas is likely to be a conservative estimate. These results are generally consistent with July field interviews.

 

Figures Table 1

Figure 1

Table 1

Source: FEWS NET/USGS

Figure 1. Interpretation of June 2012 imagery, Tharker

Figure 2

Figure 1

Source: FEWS NET/USGS

Figure 2. Interpretation of July 2014 imagery, Tharker

Figure 3

Figure 2

Source: FEWS NET/USGS

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