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AEM Will Use Satellites to Support Agriculture

By Alicia Arizpe | Fri, 11/27/2020 - 11:46

The Mexican Space Agency (AEM) signed a collaboration agreement with Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México (UAEMEX) to increase agriculture productivity using satellites. This pilot project will allow for the monitoring of agriculture fields to better plan their use and prevent plagues and damages from natural disasters.

Satellites have diverse applications in the agribusiness field. The European Space Agency (ESA) explains that they can be used to estimate crop yield and provide early warnings of potential crop failure. Farmers can also use satellite information improve their agricultural practices through close monitoring of fields. Through the blooming field of precision agriculture, researchers and farmers are increasingly gathering temporal and spatial information to manage fields to improve their productivity and profitability, while making better use of resources and the quality of crops. These technological tools are already used in other countries and the Inter-American Development Bank highlights that precision agriculture can benefit communities in Latin America by enhancing food security and reducing poverty.

AEM’s new program aims to make use of these technologies to support Mexican farming communities throughout the country. “Thanks to the vision of the Dean of UAEMEX, Alfredo Barrera Baca, we can initiate this pilot project that will mark a milestone in Mexico. We will double our efforts to generate a model that can be replicated in other states to contribute to our country’s food security,” said Salvador Landeros Ayala, Director General of AEM. The project will be launched in the second half of 2021, after which it will be supported by the D2/Atlacom-1 program. The latter is an international project developed by the company NanoAvionics US that aims to develop the framework for nanosatellite infrastructure and support future space missions.

AEM has been highly active in the organization of activities to promote and strengthen the sector. A recent MBN article reported on the agency’s recent collaboration agreement with the Mexican Federation of the Aerospace Industry (FEMIA) to promote telecommunication, monitoring and technological projects. Recently, AEM hosted the first National Space Activities Congress (CONACES), an online event that highlighted research projects from Mexican space scientists. The agency has also been working with space agencies from China, France, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Russia and the US, on a diverse array of research and development projects and is also working with local universities to test new technology, intersatellite communications and land observation.

Alicia Arizpe Alicia Arizpe Senior Writer