Director-General of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Prof. Seidu Mohammed, revealed that “smart and precision agriculture’’ could be promoted through the application of space technology.
Mohammed has stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at the “Annual Space Conference and Exhibition,’’ organised by the Centre for Satellite Technology Development (CSTD), saying that this measure would go a long way to spur economic recovery and growth in Nigeria.
Smart agriculture is an approach to understand the basic requirement as well as the changes in current environment due to external factors.
The theme of the conference is “Revolutionising Agriculture through Space Science and Technology Applications.”
“Most of the Nigeria laws were gazetted in the 1950’s and that was when the population of Nigeria was below 45 million.
“Today, we are talking about 200 million; the land has remained the same.
“Satellite is the tool we can use to acquire data and enable us to see the earth.
“We have to reach a compromise in terms of resources to use to create stability for the movement of herdsmen to avoid encroachment of farms.
“Although oil revenues contribute two third of state revenues, it only contributes about nine per cent to the Gross Domestic Product.
“The huge labour force requirement of the sector makes it a viable employer of labour, which is an important ingredient for Nigeria to grow fast being an emerging economy to an economic power.
“Research in modern farm practices will be greatly aided by space technology.”
In his remark, Dr Spencer Onuh, Director CSTD, said: “We believe that the merging of the space and agricultural sectors will deliver what Nigeria needs.
“With the application of space, science and technology, you can feed a nation and not a family.”
The director said people would value space technology when they realised that it affected their lives directly, adding that space application worked in online banking and mobile communication.