Nigeria has become a beacon of innovation in West Africa, taking center stage as the first ever CropWatch Centre in the region. This exciting development was unveiled at a recent four-day workshop themed “Advancing Satellite-Based Crop Monitoring to Increase Resilience in the Face of Global Food Insecurity.”

The role of Nigeria in this pioneering initiative was underscored by the Federal Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology (FMIST). Permanent Secretary Mrs Esuabana Nko-Asanye, representing the Minister, Chief Uche Nnaji, highlighted the importance of leveraging satellite technology. “This CropWatch programme is a game-changer,” she declared, “offering a powerful platform to tackle food security challenges and ensure sustainable development.” Nko-Asanye emphasized that this aligns perfectly with both national and international goals, specifically SDG 2, which targets zero hunger.

Dr Matthew Adepoju, Director General of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), echoed this sentiment. He expressed his unwavering commitment to harnessing the power of cutting-edge technology to transform Nigeria’s agricultural sector and guarantee food security. Dr Adepoju lauded the collaboration with the team of researchers from the Aerospace Information Research Institute (AIR)/Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), highlighting the crucial role of space science and innovation in driving agricultural advancements. This partnership aims to tailor the CropWatch System specifically for Nigeria, ensuring it effectively addresses the challenges posed by climate change and bolsters food security across the nation.

The spirit of international cooperation was further solidified by Ms Haihua Gong, Director of the Division of Asian and African Affairs at the Bureau of International Cooperation, CAS. She expressed her gratitude for the warm welcome extended by Nigeria, acknowledging it as a testament to the country’s dedication to fostering fruitful partnerships. Ms Gong commended the workshop’s focus on achieving zero hunger, aligning with CAS’s mission as a leading international science organization dedicated to promoting scientific advancements for the betterment of humanity.

Nigeria’s inauguration as the West African CropWatch Centre signifies a significant leap forward in the fight against food insecurity. By embracing space technology and forging international collaborations, Nigeria is paving the way for a more sustainable and food-secure future for the entire region.