This Nigerian Startup Is Using Drones To Help African Farmers

The agricultural industry in Nigeria is plagued with many problems, ranging from terrible infrastructure to illiteracy. Thankfully, technology startups have already started doing the work of improving the plights of local farmers.

Nigerian startup, Beat Drone is using drones imported from China to help farmers improve their yield. The drones help the farmers spray pesticides on their farms, engage in crop supervision, and map farmlands.

(Photo: Beat Drone)

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that over 50% of planted crops in developing markets die due to inadequate crop supervision and inefficient application of chemicals to kill weeds, kill pests and provide nutrients.

Via the Beat Drone platform, which was founded in 2016 by Odionye Confidence, Chidinma Nwokonko and Yinka Ojomo, farmers can request a drone, schedule a date for drone deployment and make their payment. Then the drones are sent to their farms for the specified activities.

The company president, Odionye Confidence, says that demand is skyrocketing:

"Beat Drone enables the farmer to achieve optimum results, increased harvest yields and lower cost of operations, thus reducing the cost of food in the open market, eliminating hunger and poverty.

We’ve had increased demand and our product has had immense advantage to the farmers. We have increased their harvest yield by 20 per cent from their previous harvest output. We currently have over 30,000 hectares under our operation."

The company has signed a deal with the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria to access and deploy drones to 1.5 million hectares of rice farming lands within the next 12 months. Beat Drone aims to be in 30 African countries within the next five years.

(Photo: MIT Technology Review)

Tech and politics. Is there even a difference between the two?