It is pretty astonishing seeing how some species of plants and animals seem to be going extinct. Perhaps more astonishing and awful when food is in very limited supply or even unavailable.
Imagine a situation where you are unable to get access to a particular food item you yearning for from the market simply because they have gone extinct. How much more would it be starving for lack of basic necessity to life "Food".
Food insecurity is a serious global issue which governments of various nations have met to proffer long term solutions to the problem.
Eradicating hunger is a concern of the United Nations and it is the second goal of the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations.
Technology has made life better in so many ways and we have experienced it's applications in various sectors of human endeavours such as; Education, Health, Communication, Agriculture and lots more. Emphasis on the application of technology in Agriculture can be witnessed in modern agricultural mechanical equipment such; Tractors, Harrowers, Ploughers, Ridgers, etc..
A very fascinating technological component which has proven to be effective and very efficient in combating the challenge of inadequate food supply is the Space technology.
Space technology entails the application of technology developed by the aerospace industry for use in addressing challenges facing humanity using tools such as; Space craft, Satellite and space stations.
Space based technologies is pertinent to Farmers, Agriculturist, Food processing companies and relevant stakeholders who want to enhance food production and distribution. Space technology is a veritable tool in modernizing agricultural practices and ensuring precision agriculture in an agro based economy. Space based agricultural practices possess a fundamental value in economic growth, well being and employment creation amongst the populace and teeming unemployed.
HOW CAN SPACE TECHNOLOGY ADDRESS FOOD INSECURITY?
Our planet can produce enough food and thus, eradicate global poverty caused by hunger and lack unfortunately, challenges caused by climate change such as; flooding, drought and erosion amongst others, have denied some farmers both in rural and urban areas the opportunity to harvest their crops.
Detailed information and analysis can help in predicting a region's agricultural and output beforehand. This will of course be effective in mitigating the challenges of food shortages and famine.
Detailed information can be acquired using satellite maps of the area/region
Space Technology can be effective in proffering solutions to food insecurity and ensuring global food security in the following ways listed below:
Innovative Space technology has the propensity to provide early warning signs prior to the start of these disasters.
Soil mapping: With Soil mapping, Farmers can be able to tell what soils are ideal and most suitable for which crops and what soil requires irrigation for efficient productivity. This information is obtained from remotely sensed data and helps in precision agriculture.
Remotely sensed data obtained from satellites provide important data for monitoring soil.
Monitoring of climate change and tracking climatic conditions will play a vital role in curtailing widespread dangerous and ugly incidences of loss of crops.
Climatic elements can be monitored using satellite and then interpreted with satellite images obtained from space by experienced Space scientists.
Air Moisture estimation: Air Moisture estimation using Space science technology is vital in the estimation of moisture content of the air which determines humidity content of a place (Farm land in this context). The level of humidity of a farm determines the types of crops to be grown and the farming practice which will be suitable in such farm land to reduce loss and harvest bountifully.
Crop Health Analysis : Remote sensing technology a component of space technology plays a veritable role in the analysis of crop health and in determining which crops is most viable.
This analytical concept is important in checking and paying close attention to crops which are dying or not doing so well.
Charts or graphs from a map analyzed by a Space Scientist shows the spatial distribution of the crops and distinguishes the viable from the less viable crops.
Precision farming otherwise termed 'Smart Farming' has seen the application of remote sensing in the cultivation of crops across a vast area of land which is difficult to cultivate using conventional farming practices and farm tools.
Smart farming describes using modern innovative approach which guarantees farmer's optimum harvests over a long period of time. In other words, it is a sustainable farming practice which utilizes modern electronic devices and techniques in offering smart decisions.
Block chain technology application in agriculture is also an aspect of smart farming.
Water Resources mapping is needed and pertinent in addressing challenges of water supply both in essence and in short supply. Through remote sensing technology, farmers can for tell the quantity of water needed by the several categories crops cultivated.
Rainfall assessments from satellites help farmers in planning and timing irrigation process that is suitable for their crops.
Water resources mapping also entails designing maps that shows rainfall pattern and areas liable to flooding from a flood plain map.
This is easily achieved from an analytical description of a rainfall map with fieldwork exercise carried on the farmland at the meteorological lab using weather and climate equipment and a Stevenson screen.
Crop nutrient deficiency: Detection of crops with nutrients deficiency is of utmost importance particularly in actualizing the quest to combating food insecurity and climate change as a causative factor. Remote sensing technology has helped farmers and experts as well as stakeholders in Agriculture in determining the extent of crop nutrients deficiency and proffering amicable solutions that would help increase the nutrients level in crops and overall crop yield.
Identification of pests and disease infestation: Space technology using remotely sensed data plays a significant role in identifying pests in farmlands and offering data on the right pests control system in eradicating pests and diseases on the farm.
Space technology though a very expensive technological process but it possess the capability in ensuring and achieving global food security if well adopted amongst countries of the world.
Unfortunately, Space technology is mostly utilized for it's applications in defence and security but little attention has been made in adopting this technology in agricultural practices particularly in developing countries where crude method of farming which entails traditional farm tools is very much in use.
The quest to combating climate change and ensuring a better lives for future generations lies within us.