♦Our farms NG’ holds field day for Entrepreneurs
Better days are indeed here for farms in Akwa Ibom state, as a drone revolution births in the state, pioneered by JOSEG ROBOTICS, a technology start-up based in Akwa Ibom State.
The tech start-up has successfully built aerial robotics (UAV or Drone) and AG sensor drones that can assess the Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVA) which interprets farm data to decide which farm areas require attention.
In a recent demonstration at the “OurFarms NG” field day, the indigenous tech start-up showed that farm inputs such as fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides could be applied with the aid of drones. And what’s better? The drones are locally fabricated and best adapted to indigenous weather conditions.
At the field day demonstration, I commended the local start-up for their innovation, noting that aerial robotics are indeed the future of agriculture. Drones, more formally known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) essentially are flying robots that can be remotely controlled or flown autonomously through software-controlled flight plans in their embedded systems, working in conjunction with onboard sensors and GPS.
In the past, drones were mostly associated with the military, where they were used for anti-aircraft target practices, intelligence gathering, and more controversially as weapons platforms.
However, drones have recently been deployed to civilians and of course more productive uses, namely: search and rescue, surveillance, traffic monitoring, weather monitoring, firefighting, photography, agriculture, amongst others.
With indigenous firms like JOSEG ROBOTICS venturing into the production and fabrication of these drones, (which will ensure local sourcing, availability, and technical support services), Agropreneurs in Akwa Ibom are set to explore new ways that will yield great returns in the overall.
The food and agriculture organization of the united nations (FAO), said the usefulness of drones in agriculture cannot be overemphasized. In an article by the business insider, quoted on the FAO website, the uses enumerated include mapping, crop-dusting, spraying amongst others.
Away from drones, the Our Farm.NG’s first field day was a rare opportunity for field goers to see firsthand, the fields and different crops cultivated by Our Farm at Ikot Uso community, Nsit Ubium Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
The field goers were taken through the fields of 4.3 hectares’ plantain farm intercropped with Egusi, corn, and cassava. We were also shown a 3 hectares’ land, prepared for a fully functional integrated farm to be launched in the last quarter of the year.