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How Rwanda is using ‘Rwasat-1’ to transform agriculture

By IGIHE
On 17 September 2021 at 11:35

It has been almost two years since Rwanda launched its satellite dubbed ‘Rwasat-1’ into space in collaboration with the Government of Japan. The latter is used in agriculture monitoring aligning with the country’s vision to prioritize technology.

The satellite was launched into space on 25th September 2019. It is equipped with a small technology device that can test the quantity of water, warmth, humidity among other climate measurements.

The satellite has the capacity to monitor different directions using its two cameras that can capture pictures on Rwanda’s earth.

The Minister of ICT and Innovation, Paula Ingabire has said that Rwasat-1 has been sending data useful for the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources to design policies aimed at increasing agricultural yields.

“Most of transmitted data helps to identify productive land, the size and appropriate crops to grow. These indications are used along with other data collected using other technologies,” she said.

“These include satellites, drones, sensors which help us, particularly, the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources to improve monitoring and leverage the power of technology to increase agricultural produce,” added Ingabire.

With 30cm of height and 10 cm of width, Rwasat weighs 3.8 Kgs. Other satellites of the same size are replaced between two and three years to ensure they provide reliable data.

Rwasat-1 was the second satellite Rwanda launched into the space following the launch of ‘Icyerekezo’ satellite on 28th February 2019 to expand internet access in rural areas.

It was launched by the Government of Rwanda in collaboration with OneWeb.

Rwanda continues to promote the use of technology to transform the agriculture sector which accounts for 31 percent of Gross domestic Product (GDP).

In March 2021, Rwanda’s parliament passed the law establishing Rwanda Space Agency (RSA).

As provided by the law establishing RSA, some of its responsibilities include advising the Government on creating and developing national and international space policies.

It also has the responsibility of providing geospatial services for development activities in various domains such as agriculture, urban planning, emergency response & weather forecasts.

Rwasat-1 has the capacity to monitor different directions using its two cameras that can capture pictures on Rwanda’s earth.

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