As part of efforts to boost the quantity and quality of rice production in the state, the Ondo State Government has kickstarted plans to partner with Orbital solutions and YUAVI to train the farmers on drone technology and other digital solutions.
The Senior Special Assistant to the State Governor on Agriculture and Agribusiness, Akin Olotu made this known in a chat with newsmen in Akure while announcing the sale of the Golden Sun Rice and L’Ondo with a projection of over 165,000 bags of 10kg.
He explained that the training which will be done in two batches will expose the farmers on how to use drones in the application of herbicides and the use digital equipment to provide relevant day to day information for the excellent running of the farms.
In a chat with Adewale Adegoke of Orbital Solutions, he explained that the training will cover drone for agriculture and processing multispectral data, drone sensors, data processing and interpretation softwares, mapping of farms to facilitate access to market and other technology enabling practices in Agriculture.
He added that the drone technology will be used to facilitate the optimization of crop production using multi-spectral sensors. These sensors will monitor crop health (using Normalized Differential Vegetation Index) to identify the spectral signature of the leaves based on photosynthesis and produce a crop health map showing healthy and unhealthy parts of the field. This will also reduce the cost of application of fertilizers by the farmers instead of the traditional blanket application. According to him, the drones will also provide innovative methods for identifying and managing pests through a more targeted agronomy service advisory to optimize production of crops.
Mr Adewale expressed confidence that utilizing technology in the Agriculture sector will help to produce crops that meet international standard and optimize production to meet the needs of off-takers which will improve the disposable income for rural farmers and generate foreign exchange from a private-sector led Aggregation.
The training is the first phase while the second phase of the project will include procurement of necessary equipment and creation of agritech hubs in key local government areas. It will also include post training and technical support to the beneficiaries of the training.