The Director General, National Space Research and Development Agency, Dr. Halilu Shaba, has stressed the need for deployment of Space Technology, particularly Earth observation systems to drive the agricultural sector and for the attainment of sustainable development in Nigeria. He made the remark at the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Aerospace Information Research Institute, a subset of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, (AIR/CAS) during a virtual meeting held on Monday 4th July 2022.
The NASRDA boss explained that the MoU is essential for granting technical assistance through a program called ‘Crop watch-ICP’ for crop monitoring and food security. He emphasized the need for access to earth observation based systems to enhance real-time monitoring, automated crop watch, and increased agricultural productivity, both nationally and globally.
According to Dr. Shaba, the current collaboration between Chinese Academy of Sciences (AIRCAS)and NASRDA was initiated over a year ago to help bridge the technology gap between developed and developing countries through a capacity building initiative in partnership with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNTCAD. The Director General expressed delight over the collaboration, saying, it will no doubt lead to the customisation of the agricultural institution in Nigeria.
The head of the delegation from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Prof. Wu Young, expressed happiness over the partnership and appreciated the NASRDA team for the positive development. Young said that Nigeria is no stranger to China as he alluded to the collaboration in the manufacture and launch of the Nigcomsat 1 and Nigcomsat 1R which were satellite projects carried out by Nigeria and China. He reaffirmed the support of a AIRCAS towards the deployment of aerospace systems to combat food crisis and create sustainable development for the country.