Ghana’s KNUST and South Korea’s Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), in a partnership project, will be using KNUST drone tech to monitor and identify diseased crops for agricultural productivity.
The Provost of the College of Engineering at KNUST, Prof Mark Adom-Asamoah has revealed that the prototypes of the project are still in the infant stages of design, and they will be used in identifying specific diseases in real-time after successful execution.
The project will see the drones fly over the farm, record video and take photos of the target crops. The drones will be equipped with technology that can scan the crops to identify diseased ones.
Prof Adom-Asamoah said the College of Engineering will let the Ministry of Food and Agriculture join the project so all parties can bring ideas on board to increase the productivity of the drones, which will be increased productivity of the farms.
“The College intends to introduce the technology to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) for further development and increased productivity on the farm.”
This “Drone in Agriculture” project was pushed by a problem statement that revealed that large-scale farming in the country is a discouraging job. This is seen especially in its monitoring. The monitoring alone costs farmers so much time and money since diseases are usually detected only after they have spread.
Excerpt from the problem statement reads:
“This seemingly innocuous reason costs the Ghanaian farmer so much in money and in time, because, diseases spread over large areas only become detectable even by the most experienced eyes after they have advanced.”
The Provost of KNUST’s College of Engineering reiterated that food security and the livelihood of farmers are always threatened with crop disease outbreaks as it causes huge losses to the crops.
According to Prof Adom-Asamoah, the KNUST drone tech project will not be halted. The university is going to work around the clock to find innovative means to assist Ghanaian farmers to overcome such predicament in order to improve their wellbeing.
Professor George Yaw Obeng is the Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering at KNUST. Adding his voice to the KNUST drone tech/Drone in Agriculture project, Prof Obeng said the country needs to continually invest in science and technology education. He believes that is going to help harness the full potentials of the youth for sustainable growth.