Chinese academy takes step to bolster agriculture in Zambia

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-21 16:52:15|Editor: ZX
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LUSAKA, June 21 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) handed over a high-definition cropland distribution dataset to Zambia on Thursday, aiming to help the southern African nation develop its agriculture sector.

The Zambia National Fine Resolution Cropland Data Layer provides nationwide close to real-time cropland data and up to a 10-meter resolution ratio, according to CAS.

With its improved measuring resolution, the dataset will make a significant improvement in cropland mapping for the country, said Yan Qing, head of the academy's Bureau of Science and Technology for Development.

Such time-series cropland data will be valuable for analyzing driving mechanisms of cropland distribution, as well as the cropland's impact on water resources and food security, said Yan on the handover ceremony to Zambia's Ministry of Agriculture.

"Recent advances and trends in geospatial technologies are making it easier and more cost-effective to monitor food and agriculture resources in a timely manner," said Peter Kalunga, Director of Agriculture in the ministry.

The dataset, built upon the CAS' Big Earth Data Program launched in 2018, is one of the projects promoting earth observation in the Belt and Road region for sustainable development.

Kalunga said that earth observation was the key to addressing the information gap in food production, food security and nutrition in Zambia.

CAS expected the new dataset to help Zambian authorities make science-based policies and to promote cooperation between the Chinese academy and Zambian research institutes.