Harnessing Nigeria’s Investment in Satellite Technology for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security

Harnessing Nigeria’s Investment in Satellite Technology for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security

Zubair A. Opeyemi (National Space Research and Development Agency, Nigeria) and J. O. Akinyede (African Regional Centre for Space and Technology Education, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/jagr.2012010106
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This paper examines the relevance of satellite technology in promoting and sustaining agricultural development and food security in Africa and Nigeria in particular. Some of the common problems facing agricultural development in Nigeria and Africa as a whole are discussed. The authors justify the relevance of Nigeria’s investment in satellite technology for improving agricultural production in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. The paper also presents selected applications of NigeriaSat-1 in sustainable agriculture and food security as embarked on by the government of Nigeria through the National Space Research and Development Agency. Policy recommendations were made to further boost agricultural production and food security in Africa and particularly Nigeria.
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Challenges Of Sustainable Agricultural Development And Production In Nigeria

Prior to the attainment of independence in Nigeria, the agricultural sector dominated the economy, and accounted for more than 50% of GDP (Ekpo & Umoh, 2010). At that time, groundnut was produced in the north, cocoa in the west and several cash crops such as rubber and oil palm in the mid-west and eastern regions. However, with the rapid expansion of the petroleum industry, agricultural development was neglected, and the sector entered a relatively declining phase. Consequently, between the nineteen-sixties and the eighties, Nigeria gradually drifted from a position of self-sufficiency and reliance in basic foodstuffs to one of heavy dependence on agricultural imports. For Nigeria to overcome this type of backward integration and evolve a system of sustainable agriculture where production and consumption are balanced by a sustained and sound environmental management, the under-listed challenges must be given appropriate consideration in the agricultural development process.

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