Integrated application of drones for soil management and precision agriculture in Nigeria
Agbakoba Augustine Azubuike, Ema Idongesit Asuquo, Agbakoba Victor Chike
Nigerian Journal of Soil Science
The recent push for precision agriculture has resulted in the deployment of highly sophisticated Information and Communication Technology (ICT) gadgets in various agricultural practices and methods. The introduction of ICT devices has been linked to significant improvements in agricultural activities. These devices have been shown to enhance the optimal management of critical resources such as water, soil, crop and arable land. Again, ICT devices are increasingly attractive due to their
... ity, ease of operation, compactness and superior computational capabilities. Especially when in comparison to the mundane methods previously used by most small- and large-scale farmers. For instance, ICT devices such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) also referred to as drones, are increasingly being deployed for remote sensing missions where they capture high quality spatial resolution images. The data generated by these UAVs provide much needed information that aids in early spotting of soil degradation, crop conditions, severity of weed infestation and overall monitoring of crop yield variability. This enables farmers to acquire on-the-spot information that will enhance decision making within a short period of time, which will in turn contribute to reduction in running cost and potentially increase yield. It is safe to say that full potentials of drones are yet to be fully utilized in the Nigerian agricultural sector. This is due to several factors; most notably are the numerous challenges that accompany the introduction and adoption of much new technologies. Other factors; include high cost of technology, inadequate or total lack of skilled labour, poor awareness and low-farmer literacy. Therefore, this review work highlights the global progress recorded as a result of the recent application of drones for soil management and efficient crop production. Furthermore, key discussions surrounding the application of drones for precision agriculture and the possible drawbacks facing the deployment of such technology in Nigeria has been covered in this work.