Let the drone do the planting, spraying and watering, please take some rest

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[Analyses]–Technology is changing our lives with an alarming rapidity, dwarfing most of the manual ways we had used in time past.  The interesting thing about these changes is that it is not limited to just an area of our lives, it is penetrating every nooks and cranny of our daily existence ranging from the way we communicate, relate, eat, drink, relax, sleep , work and even transport ourselves. There have been numerous technological inventions in the last century one of which is DRONE.

It is a truism that drones are listed as one of the mind blowing inventions of the last century. They are built to withstand extreme weather conditions and radiations of any kind. Even though they were initially designed for military intelligence purposes, they have evolved overtime to other functions such as use for entertainment, research, aerial photography, food delivery and recording of footage in extreme conditions.

However, considering the cost of labour in farming and food production in Nigeria, Nigerian farmers can begin to explore the use of this beautiful devices in their various farming activities. As drones make it easier for photographers and cinematographers to record angles, footage and videos they would not have been able to record except they climb a crane, likewise, drones can reduce the price of labour in farming and also save a lot of time while production increases. 

As I took a stroll in one of the southeast-Asian countries of late, I came across a wide area of land cultivated for farming and in a jiffy, I heard the whining sounds of drones  hovering over the cultivated land. I noticed that seedlings of a particular crop was dropping from the sky as they hovered round on rows. I checked around to see where the drones are being controlled from and to my surprise, I only saw 5 persons at the extreme of the land, seated while they control the drones effortlessly. Wow so farming could be this fun and efficient at the same time, I thought to myself.

Having grown up in a small town near Oyo town, Oyo State, Nigeria. I grew up going to the  farm every weekends with my father. We used almost four days in planting maize on an acre of land because of the manual labour it requires. Better still, if were to employ labour to do the planting, it is always a huge amount of money.  As I stood on the farm land that evening, I thought of the many acres of land a drone would have planted in few hours on my father’s farm. I thought about the number of acres more we would have cultivated if we had such a technology back then. I thought about the number of farmers all around Nigeria who still uses extreme manual labour for all their farming responsibilities.

The following are the roles a drone can play on the farm for Nigerian farmers:

  1. Spraying of Insecticides and germicides: Gone are the days of mounting knapsack sprayers on the shoulder for hours on the farm. It has been established that a drone can spray an acre of land in just one hour, a feat ten knapsack sprayers would achieve in four hours. Nigerian farmers can begin to save cost while they employ cost efficient methods of spraying with drones.
  1. Planting of seeds: seed planting could be a very herculean task in farming especially on big and massive farmlands. However, drones can be used to make the planting from the sky once the nursery beds and ridges have been properly done. It will sure save time and cost.
  1. Watering of vegetable nursery: vegetable and tree crop nurseries can be evenly watered through the use of drones. It saves the farmer back pains from knapsack sprayers and nozzle handling.
  1. Fertilizer application: It could be very tiring to move from one ridge to the other putting fertilizers on the soil, however, a drone would do this same task very well and at a faster pace.

The Agricultural revival Nigeria had longed for in the last 5 years might come sooner than expected if the right technologies would be explored for optimal food production and quality food supply. Application of right technologies would also increase the farming capacity of farmers as they will do more in less time while they also spend less to produce more. Technology saves time, energy and resource wastage, thereby making farming more productive and fun at the same for farmers. 

Let the DRONE do the planting, spraying and watering, take some rest.

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