Farmers in Akwa Ibom can look forward to better days as entrepreneurs are set to deploy drone technology to boost farming in the state.
Pioneered by, a technology start-up based in Akwa Ibom State, it has successfully built aerial robotics and sensor drones that can assess Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) 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.
Melvyn Anwana, special assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on entrepreneurship who made this known commended the local start-ups 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,” she said.
According to her, 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 a weapons platform.
She noted that drones have recently been deployed to civilian and of course more productive uses, namely: search and rescue, surveillance, traffic monitoring, weather, firefighting, photography, agriculture, amongst others.
With indigenous firms venturing into the production and fabrication of these drones, (which will ensure local sourcing, availability, and technical support services), she said agropreneurs in Akwa Ibom are set to explore new ways that will yield great returns in the overall investment in agriculture.
According to her, “The Our Farm.NG’s first field day, which held recently 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 adding that the field goers were taken through the fields of 4.3 hectares’ plantain farm intercropped with Mellon crops, 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.”
Speaking at the field day, Idorenyin Essiet, the farm manager said it would leverage on the business of agriculture, to not only create wealth for its partners and investors but to improve the quality of lives in the rural communities by supporting them in 3 critical areas namely, education, health, and Provision of basic social amenities.
“The recent enumeration of Farmers in the State will go a long way in exploring aggregators with the availability of big Data”.
Essiet also highlighted the need for cross-sectoral collaboration by the Private sector to engage agric business in the state and encouraged youth involvement in the sector.
Clearly, the adoption of modern technologies in agriculture can significantly enhance risk and damage assessments and revolutionize the way Africa prepares for and responds to disasters that impact Agric Business via precision farming, according to experts.
Anwana expressed delight that entrepreneurs in the state “are rising to the faith of their greatness, gearing up to engage a broad spectrum of engagements in the Agric Value Chain.”