Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has said that the ministry will continue in its employment of space technology to augment important sectors of the economy, particularly the agricultural sector.
He made this known at the presentation of the Automated Irrigation Technology Intervention System by the National Space Research and Development Agency in Abuja.
Ogbonnaya explained that such a development would inevitably lead to an elimination of food scarcity, boost yearly harvest and undeniably create an environment for youths and gave agricultural entrepreneurs.
According to him: “With this system, we can have agriculture all-year-around, and using solar to power the irrigation system it will help make young people show interest in farming.
“Today we are growing more rice than we did previously and we are also making very important impact on other crops and it is very important for Nigerians to see that Space Science and technology is very important in helping Nigeria to achieve rapid economic development.”
He further urged the National Research Space and Development Agency to utilize the opportunities Artificial Intelligence and Robotics offered, saying it had the potential to push innovations and the nation’s economy to the apex.
The view is supported by the Director-General of National Space Research and Development Agency, Professor, Mohammed Saidu, who said that this would make the agricultural sector catchy and draw the interest of a plethora of young persons.
He also noted that a lot of test-run had been conducted on the device using various soil types and that the facility was a welcome development in the agricultural sphere.
He said: “This product that operates in three months, you can be at the comfort of your home and irrigate your farm, you can go to the farm to irrigate it and also be automated in such a way that on its own without you doing anything it waters itt at a particular time and soil moisture level.
“Between 8am and 9am for instance the system constantly checks the conditions of the soil and reports on the screen once the soil moisture gets below fifteen triggers up the pump and irrigates the whole farm and ones the soil level gets 50percent it shunts down, we do not have to be physically at the farm,” he added.