KQ's drone unit to offer agricultural services to Sasini subsidiary

Drone spraying fertilizer on tea fields. [iStockphoto]

Kenya Airways-owned Fahari Aviation has signed a service agreement with Kipkebe Ltd, a subsidiary of listed agricultural firm Sasini, to offer precision agricultural services.

Fahari Aviation will use drone technology on the farm to offer agricultural services such as fertiliser application and chemical spraying on the tea farm.

Kipkebe farm will be used to benchmark the effectiveness of drone use with the possibility of expanding the services offering to other Sasini estates.   

Fahari Aviation will deploy high-capacity drones to cover over 3,000 acres of tea plantation in less than two weeks, which the firm says will save an overall 50 per cent on cost and time efficiency in fertiliser spraying and spreading.

“Drone technology in agriculture also offers better accountability of product supply as well as improved accessibility of tough terrains,” the two firms said in a joint statement.

“Drones have revolutionised agriculture by offering farmers major cost savings and enhancing efficiency within the region,” said Hawkins Musili, General Manager at Fahari Aviation.

Fahari Aviation is responsible for launching and implementing future aviation technologies and is part of the airline’s strategy of contributing to the sustainable development of Africa.

This is by championing new dimensions within the industry with the use of drones and unmanned aircraft.

Kipkebe Ltd Managing Director Silas Njibwakale described Fahari Aviation as “a pioneer of the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) technology in the country, in the application of fertiliser on our tea fields using drones.”

“As a leading agricultural enterprise, Kipkebe is uniquely positioned to lead our industry towards the future of sustainable farming due to a rich heritage, commitment to innovation, learning and continuous improvement,” he said.

“This technology will definitely reduce the time span for fertiliser application on the tea fields ensuring that application coincides with good weather conditions, and enhance crop yields while reducing attendant costs, as well as adverse impacts on humans and the environment.”