The cultivated surface of the Earth represents roughly 1,500 million hectares, i.e. 11 % of all land. The current population of just under 6 billion inhabitants should increase to more than 7 billion in 2010, which represents an increase of roughly 20% over 10 years. To cope with the demand and compensate for a predictable deterioration of some agricultural regions (over-exploitation, salination, erosion, etc.), the FAO estimates that world food production will have to increase by 1.8 % per year until 2010.
Agricultural topics bring together a large number of players associated with one of the following three main fields of activity, for which satellite observation is a highly useful tool: precision agriculture, agricultural control and agricultural statistics.
For each agricultural topic, products developed from SPOT data are already in widespread use. The new capabilities of both the optical and radar sensors of Pleiades should further improve their information content.