September 11, 2020 S. Seifullin Kazakh Agrotechnical University, together with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), organized an online seminar on the topic “Drone and Remote Sensing Technologies for water productivity in agriculture”.
Asian Bank of Development in July 2018 approved a pilot demonstration activity under the Water Financing Partnership Facility RETA 6498: Knowledge and Innovation Support for ADB's Water Financing Program to provide a knowledge and capacity strengthening to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
In cooperation with KATU these activities culminated into an operational irrigation advisory system for farmers in Kazakhstan who can benefit from this analysis on irrigation volume, soil moisture, crop water consumption, fertilization and crop production. The analysis is based on daily satellite images. Drone measurements are carried out for acquiring additional information on soil and crops and also for the validation of the satellite images. The workshop recapitulated selected achievements in the South and Northern Kazakhstan in selected farms. On a larger scale of the river basin, satellite remote sensing is now used for making rapid water accounts.
Within the framework of the ADB pilot project, Giovanni Copannelli (director of the representative office), Robert Covell (a farmer from the UK), Tokbergenov I.T., Deputy Chairman of the Board for Science, Innovation and International Affairs, S. Seifullin KATU provided images from drones and their analysis, in cooperation with the platform IrriWatch, Wim Bastiaansen (Netherlands), which provided the sensing technology and methodological support for the project.
Deputy Head of the KATU GIS-center KATU Bekbaeva A.K. presented the results of the survey “Results of drone surveys”, where she noted that the technologies and data shown reduce irrigation water consumption and increase productivity. The introduction of this technology and services throughout the country will increase the efficiency of water use.
The international seminar aroused great interest among the teaching staff of universities and research institutes of the RK. The seminar was attended by representatives of the World Bank, European Bank for Development and Reconstruction, Islamic Development Bank, United Nations, NASEC, Research Institute of Kazakhstan, Monroe Community College (USA), Zhangir khan West Kazakhstan Agrarian-Technical University, Nazarbayev University, KazNAU, L.N. Gumilyov Eurasia National University as well as members of the working group of the EU project Erasmus + NICOPA "New and innovative courses in precision agriculture" S. Seifulin KATU, Sh. Ualikhanov Kokshetau University and M. Kozybaev North Kazakhstan University.
The information obtained at this seminar will be reflected in the educational program, new/modernized courses in the field of precision agriculture, developed and modernized within the framework of the EU Erasmus+ NICOPA project for bachelors and master students of partner universities of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, the piloting of which started from September 2020.