Newton Fund Institutional Links success story
Turkey is a significant agricultural exporter and its agricultural sector employs about one fifth of the Turkish workforce. But many farms use outdated machinery and are low in productivity. Key challenges exist for environmental management due to Turkey’s growing population.
Researchers in the UK and Turkey, supported by a Newton Fund grant, have developed a new precision laser technology that can help to monitor agricultural crops. The developed sensor is small enough to be placed on a satellite and can capture the state of an entire ecosystem with centimetre precision from outer space. This helps to accurately monitor adverse environmental impacts on plants such as pollution, water or chemical use. For the first time, researchers successfully tested the new laser technology in a lab in the UK. Field trials will take place in Turkey.
The funding helped to build strong links between researchers in the UK and in Turkey, enabling the development of the world’s first precision laser technology. This significantly strengthened the UK’s role among other leading countries in laser-based technologies such as Germany and the USA. In the future, precision agriculture technology will help to tackle developmental challenges, including population growth, climate change and water scarcity in Turkey and globally.