By Amaechi Agbo
The federal government has called for the use of drone Technology to boost agricultural produce thereby guaranteeing food production and security in the country.
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri who stated this last week said that the use of drone technology will boost production across all commodities value chain of comparative advantage in the Agricultural sector.
The minister stressed that the drone technology would be used to assess fertility of the soil, determine its suitability and forecast the harvest for any particular production enterprise including livestock and fisheries.
Baba Shehuri who disclosed this during the opening ceremony of the Virtual 2020 Global Agricultural Technology Summit which commenced on Wednesday, advocated that ‘’the use drone for technological driven precision farming to sensors to determine the critical moisture needs and fertilizer requirement to optimize our production and yield. These are untapped areas within Agricultural sector that should attract investment without further delay’’.
The Minster further said that ‘’the era of precision farming is around, there is no doubt that the drone plays essential role that will take farming to a new level in a cost-effective way.”
He noted that “the small holder farmers contribute 80% to our total food supplies; a little above 32 million hectares are currently in use out of over 92 million hectares of arable land available. There is potential to expand agricultural production for more inclusive growth. We are able to record positive growth amidst Covid-19 Pandemic, even though the growth is sluggish it shows the resilience of the sector that is capable of providing platform for safe Investment’’.
Shehuri stated that “Investment opportunities in Agriculture are diverse in Crops such as Rice, Maize, Sorghum, Wheat, Yams, Cassava, Potatoes and Gingers. Other commodities of economic interest include crops such as Oil Palm, Rubber, Cocoa, Cashew, Sugarcane, Sesame and Cowpea. The Livestock and Fishery are other areas that are attractive for investors’’.
Other speakers at the 2020 Global Agricultural Technology Summit include the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Malaysia, Honourable YB Khairy Jamaluddin, Chairman, Global Agritech Summit, Mr. Dailan Muhammad Ravi, Group Chief Executive Officer, Aerodyne, Mr. Kamarulzaman Muhammed, among others.