Technological innovations seem to be heading the unlikeliest quartet, the agriculture as the experts have widely argued for dynamic shift of mindset and technology to harness the power of agribusiness. Kenyans have not embraced agricultural innovations to a greater extent and that could be reasons why there are low crop production perpetually manifestoed by deficits in food reserves and starvation that still ravages the country.
“Drones can adjust the heights depending on the needs, it can spray small farms and larger ones effectively and uses Ultra-low-volume technology that even airplanes use thus being effective and perfect to be deployed in eradicating weeds and pests” agronomist Nicholas Sang said to NTV while in Buuri in Meru. Farmers have faced insurmountable challenges with weeds, pests and diseases which have significantly lowered the crop production.
The recent spate of locust invasion was devastating blow to farmers as the magnitude and the extent of locust destruction is huge as many farmers didn’t have means to use airplane to spray. The drone technology thereby comes in handy in control and spraying of locusts with cheaper and sustainable costs for small scale farmers.
“The drone sprays from the air and the usual wastage we have undergone while spraying using tractors will be alleviated” says Meru farmer who is stunned by drone’s flexibility, efficiency and convenience.
With the governments big four agenda focusing on food production and security, use of drone technology in management of weeds, pests and invasion of locusts will be easily managed, mitigated and combated thereby increasing the crop production, reduction if not stoppage of imports and enhances the food security to all.
Ability to adjust the height of the drones depending on the size of crops or the needs of the farmers gives farmers flexibility on how to effectively manage the crops. As a matter of fact, drones spray the correct amount while modulating distance from the ground while spraying in real-time an improvement which has never been there before either through human spray or tractor spray. This measured spraying results in efficiency as it reduces amount of chemicals penetrating the ground water.
Crop monitoring especially in vast fields is reason why experts have widely embraced drone technology as vast fields especially found in Kenya’s Rift-valley region poses a risk in effective management and monitoring is hard resulting from weather challenges, poor road or paths networks in the farms. Drone technology with its time-series management can show precise development of crop hence effective monitoring and management.
Drone as well can assist in crop irrigation as its sensors can help identify dry parts in the farm. The agronomist Sang rallying call therefore for farmers to fully shift to technology for better crop production is timely.