STARS Geospatial Tool to Target Surface Water Irrigation for Crop Intensification
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
   
 

Welcome to the Spurring a Transformation in Agriculture through Remote Sensing (STARS) geospatial tool for targeting surface water irrigation for crop intensification. This website provides a practical, and easy to use tool that allows users to explore, query, and download maps, data, and graphical analyses regarding the potential to use surface water resources to sustainably intensify land in southern Bangladesh that is either currently fallow or rainfed, but which could be transformed into high-productivity cropping in the dry season. By integrating satellite analysis of crop groundcover, soil and water salinity in canals and rivers, and by examining the duration of the presence of water availability into the dry season, this website provides a practical tool allowing policy makers and planners, researchers, the private sector, and even irrigation service providers to identify tracts of land that are most suited for irrigation. Ultimately, this tool can be used to target and plan where to place small-scale irrigation schemes, and to decide where irrigation pumps and pumping can be most efficiently placed to make use of available water resources to boost cropping intensity in Southern Bangladesh. This research and decision support tool responds to Bangladesh's Country Investment Plan and Governmental mandate to sustainably boost the intensity of cropping in the south of the country, and to alleviate pressures on groundwater in the north of the country, by emphasizing the use of available surface water for irrigation.

STARS is executed in a partnership of five institutes, which are listed below. The regional experiment use cases are executed by ICRISAT, UMD and CIMMYT, and they involve a number of partners in the respective regions. CSIRO is the main lead for the landscaping study. The Faculty of ITC of the University of Twente in the Netherlands is leading this consortium.

In Bangladesh, CIMMYT partners with CEGIS, IWM, BARC and other project partners. The STARS project supports the wider USAID and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) project. Established in 2009, the CSISA aims to sustainably improve cereal productivity, food security and increase farmers' income in South Asia's Indo-Gangetic Plains, home to the region's most important grain baskets.

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), headquartered in Mexico, is a nonprofit, agricultural research and training center to help developing nations to promote sustainable agriculture development. CIMMYT maintains memorandum of agreement with the Government of Bangladesh signed on their behalf by the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) in 1982. The agreement was signed for promoting scientific and technical cooperation to improve productivity and profitability of maize and wheat based systems in Bangladesh. Since that time, CIMMYT has endeavored to support BARC and the mission to sustainably intensify wheat and maize based farming systems to benefit smallholder farmers throughout Bangladesh.

STARS scientists measuring the maize crop canopy in Putakhali, Sothern Bangladesh STARS researchers flying the octocopter in Barisal, Bangladesh
STARS scientists measuring the maize crop canopy in Putakhali, Sothern Bangladesh
Water-saving irrigation of a maize crop using raised beds, in Southern Bangladesh
Water-saving irrigation of a maize crop using raised beds, in Southern Bangladesh STARS researchers flying the octocopter in Barisal, Bangladesh