The director-general, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Dr. Halilu Shaba has said Nigeria can decisively curtail the rising threats of food insecurity and hunger through the integration of space-based smart agriculture for food security and ‘zero hunger’ in the country.
He made this statement during the opening ceremony of the one-day stakeholders’ dialogue on “Space-based Smart Agriculture for Food Security within the Sustainable Development Goals SDG Framework in Nigeria”, organised by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAPSDG) in partnership with NASRDA in Abuja.
Shaba, who took the opportunity to appreciate the senior special assistant to the president on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Adefulire for the collaboration stated that the dialogue is relevant and apt, given the recent global food crises that have overwhelmed many nations, as well as complications brought by COVID-19 and the Russian-Ukraine war on the global food chain.
The NASRDA boss emphasised that the agency’s interest in exploring the potentials of space science and technology such as data from earth observation/ communication satellites and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) for the actualisation of the majority of the SDGs will result in social protection for the poor and vulnerable, improved access to essential services and support for people affected by climate-related events.
He further urged other relevant stakeholders, especially international organisations, the private sector and other MDAs, to be committed to working with the OSSAP and NASRDA to attain the SDGs with cutting-edge technologies.
In her remarks, Adefulire commended the efforts of NASRDA for the co-development of the strategic stakeholders’ dialogue, stating that the agency’s commitment to ensuring the application of space science and technology for food security in the country is extremely crucial and highly appreciated.
She said that the application of space science, technology and innovation has demonstrated the capacity to enhance food production and promote inclusive socio-economic development, consistent with the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
Adefulire, therefore. advocated for stakeholders to explore the potential areas of collaboration and adopt inter-agency engagements towards meaningful contributions to the government’s efforts in addressing food insecurity in Nigeria.