LandMark University (LMU), Omu-Aran in Kwara State, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) on the use of space technology to boost agriculture.
The institution is the first private university to partner the agency on research development in agriculture.
The university’s Vice- Chancellor, Prof. Aize Obayan, who made this known to reporters during the signing in Abuja at the weekend, said the deal would assist the institution deploy technology from the agency on agriculture.
According to Obayan, the data gathered by NASDRA would also assist the institution in software, satellite, space application and agricultural development.
She said: “We, at LMU, have a serious approach to driving agriculture. Food security is something we take seriously. We must do agriculture differently from the way our fore fathers did agriculture
She continued: “To boost food security is beyond doing agriculture the way it has always been done; this is from a scientific, mechanised, automated perspective. In view of this, we need information about weather condition, we need information about the seasons and a lot of other issues that always arise in the course of agricultural development and are controlled from the centres embeded in NASRDA.
“A lot of data is gathered from satellite and it will open Landmark up to seeing how, in areas of software application, satellite application and space application in the area of agricultural development involvement.
“This is very key as the university is looking at how to break new grounds in attaining new frontiers in agricultural development. The emphasis of government on agriculture now is central, considering that oil has failed the nation.”
Under the partnership, she said the institution would consider setting up aero space engineering and space physics for students who have interest to study.
“People come to the university to study Biological Science and others but beyond the basis, there are lots they can delve into. There are possibilities of working towards setting up Aero Space Engineering and Space Physics and those things that many universities are not offering right now. With all these in place, we are working towards what will make us a leading world class university,” she added.
NASRDA Director-General Prof Saidu Mohammed, said the agency would support the institution in its drive to develop agriculture.
According to him, space technology remains the only means to drive businesses and achieve better results.
He said: “I want to assure you that we would stand by you (LMU); and in order to get to that destination we need to formalise our relationship today
“By this signature today my people will swing into action. They will release to you all the research data available in this country for free.
‘’By the quarter of 2018, this centre will have achieved 20 PhDs. Your university can key into this. This is what is done in India and Brazil. We need to break new grounds. With this collaboration, our alliance has grown.
“Space technology remains the technology of choice. It is the driver of business, it is the driver of most government activities and we believe working with you in several areas will go a long way in enhancing the capacity and the capability of your university.”