A Computer vision-based model for crop yield prediction using remote sensing data

Kiragu, Daniel Mburu
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Strathmore University
Arguably, crop yield data forms the most important measure of crop productivity in agriculture. With adequate crop yield data, local and international bodies can develop effective agricultural policy leading up to sustainable food supplies and elevated food security. However, timely acquisition of crop yield data can be a cumbersome task as existing crop yield prediction approaches face numerous challenges. In this study, these challenges are identified as high cost and high dimensionality of data required for the prediction activities as well as limited scaling of the resultant prediction models. In efforts of overcoming these challenges, this study leveraged an alternative source of data to design and develop a cheap, accurate and scalable deep learning model using convolutional neural networks. Satellite imagery datasets were used as the primary and only source of data for training the model. This benefited the study in two major ways. Firstly, off, the approach automatically took care of the high dimensionality problem as demonstrated in the GEMS data. Second, satellite imagery data is readily available globally, a factor that greatly reduced the costs needed to collect real-time data for the study. Validation of the developed model was done using 10% of the overall dataset acquired. Reliability of the model in performing crop yield predictions was captured using an MSE loss function for each epoch trained. Cumulatively, the model achieved an MSE loss score of 3.6.
A Thesis Submitted to the School of Computing and Engineering Sciences in Partial Fulfilment for the Requirement of the Degree of Master of Science in Information Technology of Strathmore University
Deep Learning, Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs), Crop Yield Prediction, Agriculture