By Emmanuel Elebeke
ABUJA—The Director General and Chief Executive of the National Space Research and Development Agency, NASRDA, Prof. Seidu Mohammed says the application of Space Technology in agriculture will restore the dignity of Nigeria and that of the Black race.
The Director General stated this at the 8th Edition of the Centre for Satellite Technology Development, CSTD, Week/Conference held at Obasanjo Space Centre, Abuja.
The theme of the conference is: Revolutionalizing Agriculture Through Space Science and Technology Applications.
As a leading space agency in Africa with advantage of a large and growing population, Seidu said Nigeria is well positioned to achieve significant breakthrough in the agriculture sector with the right application of space technology.
‘‘The use of Nigerian satellite and space technology has the enormous capacity to revolutionalize the agriculture in the country and in Africa as a continent. The use of space technology in agriculture is a significant tool for the restoration of the dignity of the Black race.
‘‘The significance of this year’s CSTD theme cannot be overstated. Agriculture is a very significant sector in the Nigerian economy, and it can be argued, the most important, even more so than oil. The huge labour force requirement of the sector makes it a viable employer of labour which is an important ingredient for Nigeria to grow past being an emerging economy into an economic powe,’’ he added.
However, Prof. Mohammed said the Space agency is in collaboration with a number of universities and research institutes in the area of agriculture.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director and Chief Executive of CSTD, Dr. Spencer Onuh said we must plan to save the growing population which is projected to be the third largest in the world by 2050.
Dr. Onuh said a nation that does not feed itself becomes a threat to its own sovereign existence, saying that nothing is more important than food.
For him, growing our own food, processing what we produce, becoming competitive in export markets, and creating jobs all across our economy, are crucial for our national security.
AS we know, oil will not last forever. The future trajectory of earnings from crude oil does not look good, as other nations are finding shale oil and shale gas. WE must feed ourselves from dependency on crude oil. Applications of space science and technology to our agricultural sector is inexhaustible, we have the greatest potential to achieve this and now is the time,’’ he added.