NASA to help 'transform' future of global agriculture

NASA has signed an agreement to improve agricultural research
NASA has signed an agreement to improve agricultural research

NASA has agreed to help develop space technology and utilise scientific experience to 'transform and bolster' the future of agriculture.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at strengthening its partnership with NASA.

Researchers will explore gaps of importance to the agricultural community that could be addressed through innovative Earth observation systems and technologies developed over the next decade.

“As we’ve seen over the past 100 years, increasing innovation in agriculture is limitless,” said US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

“This partnership between USDA and NASA will bring together the best research, science, and technology we have to offer to help produce more food to feed the growing world.

"We are continuing an already great collaborative effort to utilise space-based technologies across sectors and into agriculture.”

The partnership will benefit a variety of Earth and space-based goals, including activities in support of NASA’s Artemis program, which will land the first woman and the next man on the Moon.

Meanwhile, plant-related research on the International Space Station may lead to new ways to improve agriculture, protect the environment, and contribute to better human health.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine explained that the global farming industry could be transformed in 'ways we can’t even imagine today'.

“Microgravity research can unlock secrets in a wide variety of fields, and I’m particularly excited about our agency’s potential impact on next-generation agricultural techniques," he said.