Project Team: Rwanda Agriculture Team
Team Location: Wise County Clerk of Court’s Office, Wise, Virginia
Faith Mwiza (California Baptist University)
Daria Blach (The University of Virginia’s College at Wise)
Emmanuel Muzungu (Oklahoma Christian University)
Rohini Swaminathan (Purdue University)
Zachary Tate (The University of Virginia’s College at Wise)
Dr. Kenton Ross (NASA DEVELOP National Science Advisor)
Dr. DeWayne Cecil (Global Science and Technology, Inc.)
Merna Saad (Langley DEVELOP)
The Rwandan economy relies heavily on agriculture, with more than 90 percent of the population engaged in subsistence farming. More than 70 percent of the country’s total land surface is exploited for agriculture. As part of the government’s efforts to grow the economy and reduce poverty, the Ministry of Agriculture established the National Rice Policy (NRP) coupled with the Rural Sector Support Program (RSSP). The goal of the NRP is attaining self-reliance and competitiveness in rice production. The RSSP’s purpose is the development of marshlands to rice fields in order to increase rice cultivation and yields.
This project used NASA Earth observations such as Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM), Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) to monitor rice fields. Crop production models were used to estimate rice yields.
Additionally, modern practices are being implemented at the Land Husbandry, Water Harvesting and Hillside Irrigation (LWH) development sites. Soil erosion susceptibility maps were developed in the identified LWH sites. Rainfall data was obtained from Modern Era Retrospective-Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA). Elevation was calculated from Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and land use data was derived from Landsat 5 TM. Lastly, the soil erodibility map was downloaded from the Soil and Terrain Database of Central Africa. Partnering with the Rwanda Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), and the World Bank, meaningful maps were derived to monitor new practices and provide information to policy- and decision-makers.
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