Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has called for the application of geospatial knowledge in Nigeria’s agricultural system to achieve food security.
In a keynote address he delivered yesterday at the opening of this year’s two-day Survey Coordination Conference and Meeting of the Advisory Board on Survey Training with the theme: “Geospatial Approach to Harness Agro Planning and Food Sustainability for Economic Development,” Fashola said the conference was an opportunity to brainstorm and proffer solutions to the problems facing the sector.
The minister described the theme as apt and noted that the undoing of Nigeria began when attention was diverted from agriculture which was the mainstay of the economy before the oil boom that followed the discovery of oil at Oloibiri in 1956 by Shell British Petroleum (BP).
He said, “Although we have failed in tapping our rich agricultural resources over the years, agriculture itself is already encumbered by climatic and environmental factors.
“It means that for us to achieve food sufficiency and security, there is urgent need of applying geospatial inputs into our agricultural system, hence the incumbent administration is paying diligence to agriculture as part of efforts in achieving the diversification of the economy; the plan is to help in redirecting the country from the unhealthy path of mono-economy,” Fashola said.
Submitting that the targets had been achieved to a reasonable level, the minister said, “For instance, under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Programme (Phase 1) with a life span covering 2015 to 2022, introduced by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, farmers with the intervention of the private sector made about N11.60 billion in 2020.”
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In his welcome address, the surveyor-general of the federation (SGoF), Surv. Abduganiyu Adebomehin, announced the readiness of OSGoF to migrate from the Nigeria National Origin (NNO) to the World Geodetic System (WGS) 84-International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF) 2014 to achieve best practices in geospatial world.
He appealed to all the states of the federation to migrate as well for the country to have a common reference point and avoid the burdens of conversions to align with international best practices.
WGS 84 is the standard U.S. Department of Defence definition of a global reference system for geospatial information and is the reference system for the Global Positioning System (GPS). It is compatible with the International Terrestrial Reference System (ITRS).