On the 19th May 2020, the National Space Science Agency (NSSA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Agriculture and Marine Resources of the Ministry of Works, Municipalities and Urban Planning, that outlines a framework to facilitate collaboration between the two entities.
The memo was concluded by NSSA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Eng. Mohamed Al Aseeri and the Undersecretary of Agriculture and Marine Resources, Dr. Nabil Muhammad Abu Al-Fateh.
Commenting on the occasion, Dr. Abul-Fateh said: “The aim of the memorandum is to open areas of collaboration between the two entities, including exchanging experiences, implementing courses and workshops for the purpose of building capacities in the field of space science and benefiting from its various applications, in addition to creating other opportunities for collaboration that contribute to achieving the goals of both parties.”
In this regard, Dr Al Aseeri added, “One of the main initiatives at NSSA in its current strategic plan is to establish a lab for processing and analysing satellite imagery and data for the purpose of: conducting studies that respond to national and regional needs of space information and earth observation data; preparing accurate maps showing the distribution of natural phenomena and abnormal features of the target study that may be difficult to reach; monitor land change and trends; providing data for scientific research, environment and agriculture (such as the quality and intensity of agricultural crops).”
During an organized remote meeting with participation of officials from both sides, a high level plan was agreed upon that included preparing studies for the Agriculture and Marine Resources of the Ministry of Works, Municipalities and Urban Planning, that included inventory of palm trees in the Kingdom, identification of palm trees health condition (such as locating palm trees with red palm weevil insect), and preparing an air inventory of the agricultural cover in the Kingdom.