Are drones the future of farming?

 
 
 

The South African economy is ailing. It feels as though there’s a new downgrade around every bend. Times are tough, but it won’t always be this way. We can rebuild. To move forward, South Africa needs to go back to basics and focus on corner-stone sectors like agriculture. The industry is crucial to securing stability in the future, and technology will play a key role in its progress.

Elsenburg drone expert, Arie van Ravenswaay, understands that if our farmers are to keep coming up with the goods, they need every advantage they can get. To help farmers manage their crops more efficiently, Van Ravenswaay has introduced drones to their workforces. The devices can fly up to seven kilometres and are able to capture high resolution imagery of fields and orchards, allowing farmers to monitor their produce more accurately. “The aerial images captured allow farmers to assess vegetation health, track and monitor their animals, as well as assess crops that need watering and fertilisation,” Van Ravenswaay says.

Drones are giving farmers a new level of access to their produce that enables them to save resources, which benefits both the environment and profit margins. Better still, farmers are able to upskill their employees to become agri-technicians who fly the drones and analyse captured data. Aside from stimulating the South African economy, agriculture plays a vital role in feeding the country. As Van Ravenswaay has shown, while old methods have merit, technology presents exciting possibilities for the growth of this sector.