REMOTE SENSING TECH BECOME ESSENTIAL TOOL TO BOOST SAHARAN AGRICULTURE IN ALGERIA

OUARGLA, ALGERIA, Algeria’s Remote Sensing Space System is increasingly becoming an essential tool to give fresh impetus to Saharan agriculture, says the Commissioner for Algeria’s Saharan Agriculture Development (CDARS) agency, Slimane Hannachi.

The use of space technologies makes easier the access to “reliable, true and up-to-date” information, notably about the agro-pastoral and hydological potentials, the state of soils, besides the factors that affect agricultural production in the Saharan zones, added Hannachi here Thursday.

Despite the financial difficulties, the CDARS started last year to draw up databases of high resolution space images, in co-ordination with experts from the Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) in charge of providing technical assistance.

Divided into two stages, focused on training of the Commission’s affiliated engineer, this assistance is part of the agreement sealed with ASAL on the design, the development and implementation of the decision-support tools, based on space technologies.

ASAL ill also help support the studies, researches and explorations conducted by the CDARS to develop the main crops (dates and cereals) in the major agricultural centres, namely Ouargla, Biskra, El-Oued and GhardaA´┐Ża. Besides, it allows the identification of the conditions for irrigation, drainage and soil salinity and the monitoring of the up-welling phenomenon, he said.

Regarding the improvement of camel breeding conditions, Hannachi revealed that a study about the organization of this activity in Algeria’s Saharan zones was in its final phase.

Created in 1986, the CDARS operates in nine provinces — Ouargla, Adrar, Biskra, GhardaA´┐Ża, El-Oued, Illizi, Tindouf, Bechar and Tamanrasset — and in 17 communes from ten Steppe provinces — Tebessa, Khenchela, Laghouat, Djelfa, NaAma and El-Bayadh.

Source: Nam News Network

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