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August 2nd, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Progressive countries have adopted drones – unmanned aircraft that flies autonomously – for precision agriculture with impressive results, but what exactly can a drone do for the agricultural sector in Africa and Kenya, in particular?

Farmers need accurate, precise and up-to-date information on plant health and environmental conditions.

On the most basic level, drones can give farmers a big picture view of their crops, allowing them to detect subtle changes that cannot be easily identified by crop scouts or extension workers on the ground.

Drones are equipped with special sensors can collect multispectral Neutral Density Vegetation Index (NDVI) and infrared images, allowing farmers to view crop changes that are otherwise invisible to the human eye.

Agricultural aircraft have been in use since the 1920s, while satellites, located thousands of kilometres away from the earth came in later to give agriculture experts a bird’s eye view of crop health. Read more