As a way of boosting food security in Kenya, new innovations have been established where drones are used in agri-business in mapping, surveying and even spraying pesticides on crops.
The new innovation is aimed at fostering innovation and developing entrepreneurial skills among youths through technology. Over the weekend, youths participated in the Kenyan Drone Business Competition (KDBC). The 10 finalists engaged in a live-drone-flying demonstration and interacted with international industry experts and drone pilots at Drone Space Training Airfield, Sigoni.
KDBC is a training programme that aims at fostering innovation and developing the entrepreneurial abilities of young technology entrepreneurs in Kenya.
It also focuses on building capacity and providing a platform for accessing STEM resources instrumental to the outgrowth of agricultural inputs in the economy.
The KDBC is organized in partnership with The Global Air Drone Academy (GADA), Dronector Academy, KCAA, Skydio, Drone Deploy and Kenya Flying Labs, with funding from the US Embassy in Nairobi.
Bridget Koenig, Public Diplomacy Officer at the United States Embassy, says that the Embassy is very focused on food security and its main aim of funding for the competition is to ensure it connects and collaborates with experts who have zeal in solving many problems facing farming through agri-technology.
She noted that food security is a huge challenge and the technology will get them skills to come out with solutions to address food security.
Three top winners received drones, with the first winner scooping Sh2.5 Million. This collaboration will help solve some of the bigger problems touching on food security and can be solved via technology. It also shows that the collaboration is giving agriculture a lot of attention.
Dronector Academy will also offer free training to the best finalist. Eno Umoh, CEO & Co-founder of Global Air Drone Academy (GADA), called on farmers to embrace technology terming them easier in mapping and surveying farms. “The youths are being equipped with tangible skills to help them in agri-technology. The group is also focused on becoming part of a larger team that will be trained in drone technology,” he noted.
Lynette Shalwa, UAS Officer, KCAA said it was important to license drones which are helping youths share opportunities in technology.
Kevin Githinji, CEO Dronector Academy took the participants through various uses of drones in agriculture in increasing efficiency and taking data that gives precise information to the farmers.
“There is a lot of application areas for drones that easy solutions to farmers,” Githinji says.