The National Space and Research Development Agency (NASRDA) has developed an automated irrigated machine that would assist farmers to irrigate their farmlands to boost food production.
Speaking at the launch of the automated irrigation machine in Abuja, Prof. Seidu Mohammed, Director General of NASRDA, explained that the innovation was designed by the agency to promote all season farming.
Mohammed said the machine which is solar powered and a convergence of several technologies would assist farmers to be smarter and more productive.
He further disclosed that the device would remove drudgery in agriculture and also attracts youth in agriculture.
He spoke on the cost of the machine, saying his agency has begun discussions with its partners to determine affordable price to farmers.
Commenting on how the device works, Engr. Lanre Daniyan, Head of Instrumentation, NASRDA, explained that the machine could be used without the physical presence of the farmer in the farm, noting that the device has been programmed to stop when the farm is adequately irrigated.
He underscored the need for Nigeria to deploy science and technology to boost agricultural practices in the country.
Responding, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, who expressed joy on the development of the device, said space science technology is critical to the agricultural development.
Onu noted that to achieve rapid economic development and self-sufficiency in food production that science and technology must be embraced by all Nigerians.
He said that it was the first time that an indigenous automated irrigation machine was developed in the country, adding that young people would be attracted to agricultural sector.
The minister, who revealed that NASRDA was also working in the area of developing artificial intelligence and robotics, expressed optimism that Nigeria would soon become a knowledge-based country, driven by technology and innovation.