In 2022, torrential rains and floods devastated Nigeria, destroying thousands of hectares of land. The country’s annual corn and rice production declined by approximately 12% and 21%, respectively.
With over 200 million people living in Nigeria worldwide suffering from devastating weather conditions, they are using technology to prepare their agricultural sector and farmers better. Satellite crop monitoring solutions have proven particularly useful.
Africa’s most populated nation is part of the CropWatch Innovation Partnership Program launched in 2021 by UNCTAD, the Chinese Academy of Science Organizations, a non-profit NGO.
“Sustainable crop monitoring with remote sensing data provides strong planning insights and significantly improves the quality, ability and technical depth of decision making in our agricultural sector,” said Rakiya Babamaaji, deputy director of the Nigerian National Agency for Space Research and Development (NASRDA).
Nigerian experts trained through the program adapt the CropWatch tenet to the local context. The system uses satellite information to improve farm management and monitor crop growth and other climatic conditions such as biomass, temperature, and rainfall.
Information About the Tool
Earth observation and plant monitoring technologies have great potential for agriculture, but their development, especially on a large scale, but difficult and costly for developing countries.
CropWatch uses the power of South-South cooperation to overcome many obstacles. It provides participating countries access much-needed technology and training to adapt the system to local needs.
Another country in the program is Mauritius, a small island developing country that imports 75 of its food. The country urgently seeks to increase local agricultural production to ensure food security. It faces the challenges of climate change, which has led to more droughts, flash floods, and hurricanes in recent years.