Check out how technology is aiding African farms to flourish
In recent time, modern technology is replacing so many human activities and notable among them is farming and other agricultural activities which takes farmers a lot of effort to achieve results. Agricultural technologies are gradually winning the heart of many African countries.
In Ghana, a company called Acquahmeyer rents out drones that help small-scale farmers check the health of crops and use pesticide only where it is needed, reducing pollution and health risks.
“Ghanaian vegetables were not making it to the EU countries because of pesticide residues on the fruit and vegetables,” says chief operations officer Kenneth A. Nelson (Acquahmeyer).
With drones, farmers can identify pests and disease to determine exactly which crops need spraying, Nelson says.
Thanks to the reduced use of chemicals (pesticide use dropped 50 percent in some cases), it’s easier for farmers to meet EU countries’ regulatory limits.
Acquahmeyer is now working with 8,000 farmers, who pay $5 to $10 per acre, about 6 times a year, to assess their crops and soil and apply pesticides.
Each drone costs $5,000 to $15,000 to build and can spray 10,000 acres a year.
The company started in June 2018 with two drones and now has 10.
It makes an annual profit of $15,000 to $30,000 per drone, after operations and administration costs.
With more than 15 million hectares (37 million acres) of agricultural land in Ghana, demand for drones is only growing, says Nelson.
Acquahmeyer’s strategy of training locals to pilot and repair the aircraft is helping fuel interest in the company and its growth, says Nelson.
“In every farming community we have ambassadors for our company who are pilots and we are creating jobs,” he said.
He added, “We want to make sure that technology and agriculture becomes an exciting job.”