Establishing One of the World’s Most Advanced Agricultural Information Systems

As the 7th largest agricultural yielder in the world, the Republic of Turkey embraced the challenge to optimise its agriculture production. However, efficiently supporting farmers in their daily farming requires up-to date, reliable and precise information that is easy to understand and easy to access.
Tarbil challenge case study - Turkish agriculture

How do you optimise agriculture production and secure food for your people when you are the seventh largest agricultural yielder in the world?

To solve this challenge, the Turkish Republic’s Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MoFAL) partnered in 2012 with Istanbul Technical University (ITU) to launch an unprecedented agricultural monitoring programme.
The ambition was big - establish a reference information system accessible for all agriculture stakeholders within the country. The objective was to provide them with continuous yield forecasts at parcel scale and support them in optimising water, pesticides and fertiliser applications.
This unique programme, named TARBIL, required accurate, up-to-date and comprehensive information over all production areas within the growing season.

ITU installed an Airbus Direct Receiving Station (DRS) in 2002 - collecting a huge quantity of spatial imagery, delivered in near-real-time for the users - ideal for serving the needs of MoFAL and the TARBIL project.
Airbus’ SPOT 6/7 satellites were perfectly suited to collect the required number of images within a regular turnaround period and their 1.5m resolution images met the required level of detail, so vegetation variability can be assessed even within the smallest fields.
The spatial data is sent in near-real-time to ministerial technical units for further processing. Images are immediately ingested into a cloud-based platform for conversion into solid vegetation maps (NDVI), calibrated with the ground information collected live by more than 15,000 sensors spread across the entire country.
Additionally, object-based classification is performed over this data. Field-level crop type maps and cultivated area statistics are delivered to MoFAL prior to harvesting. Value-added data, derived from satellite imagery and processed by TARBIL experts is continuously uploaded to the cloud, with farmers able to access the information instantaneously. Timely and accurate decisions can then be made.

Tarbil solutions case study - Turkish agriculture

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For farmers

  •  Free, tablet-based access to information for better fertiliser and pesticide allocation within their fields
  •  Automatic optimisation of water consumption
  • Customisable early warnings and alerts to detect problems in the field to enable a timely reaction. Continuous yield forecasts at field scale

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For the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock

  • Assess food security, anticipate shortages
  • Foster environmental protection
  • Democratise precision agriculture
  •  Rationalise public spending thanks to smart pooling of resources amongst Turkish institutions

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For the agricultural trade and banking organisations

  • Harvest forecasting
  •  Regional yield distribution
  • Risk assessment


The mission of ITU-CSCRS is to develop an advanced capability in remote sensing and satellite communications to meet the scientific needs and operational requirements of Turkey.

The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock of Turkey is responsible for ensuring the accessibility to reliable food quality and agricultural products, promoting the use of sustainable agricultural and ecological resources and identifying and implementing policies to improve standards of living.

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