New 11-Country Report Reveals African Farmers Missing out on AgriTech Innovations that Could Supercharge the Sector with Opportunities for Youth. The report surveyed 29,900 youths, 299 small holder farmers, and 110 agriculture technology start-ups, innovation hubs, and technology organizations in Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. It identifies challenges faced by small holder farming communities and potential areas for innovation and growth.
The Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) 2020 report estimated that about 70% of Uganda’s working population is employed in agriculture and sector growth is also impaired by the lack of quality packaging capabilities, insufficient storage facilities, poor post-harvest handling practices, shortage of agricultural credit, high freight costs, the lack of all-weather feeder roads in rural areas, a complicated and inefficient land tenure system, and limited knowledge of modern production practices
Earth Observing System Data Analytics (EOSDA) a US-based satellite service provider and a global provider of AI-powered satellite imagery, has urged Ugandan young farmers to take on the Precision Agriculture to overcome the challenges of low productivity and increase their income using smart farming technology
Rim Elijah, Director of Strategic Partnerships at EOS Data Analytics said that Precision Agriculture is an approach to farm management that uses information technology to ensure that crops and soil receive exactly what they need for optimum health and productivity and it is also known as satellite agriculture as-needed farming and site-specific crop management.
Rim adds that when it comes to utilizing technology in agriculture, the precision agriculture approach is becoming the major trend, regardless of the current technology that’s being used whether that is sensors in the ground or drones and the uniqueness of satellite data lies in the ability to monitor large-scale fields from a distance.
Rim further added that Ugandan farmers have to understand that precision agriculture aims for sustainability by improving yield per unit area under cultivation (productivity) and favoring soil quality by balanced fertilizer application. Therefore precision agriculture ensures sustainable food production and reduces environmental risks (soil degradation due to excessive use of chemicals).
“Ugandan farmers need to utilize the kind of technology that allows them to monitor the crops and utilize every grain in their fields to its full potential. This will not solve the food security problems in the nearest future entirely but it will at least help us meet some of this demand”Rim added
“To sum up, I believe Agritech will not disrupt Africa’s transformation. Actually, it has the potential to lift it up to a whole new level. When it comes to precision agriculture, the pros simply exceed the cons by a mile. Let’s then focus on the pros together and make sure we are working towards a sustainable future” Rim advised
“According to EOS Data Analytics Precision, farming technologies allow farmers to make data-driven decisions while implementing sustainable practices that can preserve natural resources for future generations. Agricultural development driven by satellite crop monitoring solutions ensures dynamic economic growth and strengthens food chain risk mitigation.” Rim further added
Data sourced from EOS Data Analytics states that Precision Agriculture is the answer to food security in the future. It is already gaining popularity in large-scale production especially as it involves the use of drones, satellite imagery, remote sensing to monitor crops and their health. Factors such as irrigation and fertilization are controlled using these technologies while in animals, digital technology has helped to monitor the health and growth of livestock
EOS Data Analytics’ data reveals that the intervention of precision agriculture at the right time, in the best place and using the best technology has helped and still is helping to reduce drastically, food spoilage and improving yield per unit area cultivation in this Uganda will achieve not only food security, zero hunger but an improvement in the livelihood of its smallholder younger farmers which would eventually lead to affordable food for the people hence development.
Using digital solutions can help Ugandan farmers and landowners acquire all the necessary data on the state of their crops in one place. Are all crops in the fields healthy at the moment? Do crops have diseases? Are there any weather risks? Farmers can quickly get answers to these and other questions and make decisions based on crucial data. EOS Crop Monitoring is one of several precision agriculture solutions by EOS Data Analytics.
Source: David Mwanje