Options for the use of drones in agriculture


Options for the use of drones in agriculture

Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) have revolutionised how farming is done over the years. In Africa, in particular, technology has improved the efficiency of data collection and monitoring and evaluation - especially through mobile technology and mobile apps.

E-Agriculture has in past held global discussions in conjuction with WorldBank where experts from various fields and organisations around the world shared their experiences and discussed the ways in which they were using mobilephones, tables,application and software - to collect data in the field, and to perfom monitoring and evaluation (M&E) in development projects.

Technology has changed over time, and currently drones are being implemented in agriculture. Drones are also known as unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and is an aircaft without a human pilot aboard. Drones have been applied in different aspects of agriculture, in pests control and land use monitoring. Agriculture is predicted to be one of the major industries to adopt and incorporate drones in the near future.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has used drones to prepare for disasters in the Philippines in disaster assessment and risks analysis. A recent seminar between FAO and WorldBank looked at the application of drones in agriculture within the two international institutions. The PwC estimates that the market for drone-powered solutions in agriculture at US$32.4 billion (by July 2016).

Options for the Agricultural Drones

The following are six emerging ways aerial and ground-based drones are being used in agriculture:-

  1. Soil and field analysis -
  2. Planting
  3. Crop spraying
  4. Crop monitoring
  5. Irrigation
  6. Crop Health Assessment

Read more about these options here. In some countries, there is still a limitation on the laws that allow the use of drones.

The Benefits of Drones in Farming

The following are the most commonly acknowledged benefits of using drones:-

  • Potential to increase yields
  • Saves time
  • Ease of use
  • Integrated GIS Mapping
  • Crop Health Imaging

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