Agric Commodities Association, Firm Sign MoU to Deploy Drones in Farming

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

The Federation of Agricultural Commodity Associations of Nigeria (FACAN) and Greentech & Mines Limited yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the deployment of drones to boost agricultural production in the country.

FACAN promotes agricultural activities along the value chain for food security, job creation, poverty reduction, foreign exchange earnings and increased productivity, among others.

It provides a common voice for agricultural commodity associations in the country, in the areas of policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation as well as promote high quality commodity exports among the confederating units.

Speaking at the event in Abuja, FACAN President, Sheriff Balogun, said there was the need for the association which represents the interest of all commodities producers,  to modernise agriculture and move it beyond the pre-civilisation era.

He explained that the signing of the MoU would see the technical cooperation between both organisations to increase agricultural production as well as reduce labour costs, especially in irrigation.

“Production needs to move beyond the ways our forefathers used to do it in agriculture. Technology has made things easier. And we’re definitely inviting that technology to drive increased production, drive efficiency and to bring down prices of services.

“The use of drones definitely has reduced the price and labour that you deploy in irrigating your farmland. And also has cut down tremendously the time given to irrigate as well. Previously, you probably cannot irrigate 10, 30 hectares in a day if you have to deploy several numbers of people and do it effectively and efficiently.

“With drones now, you can just sit down in the comfort of an office and set the coordinates and do the work in an efficient manner. So we are optimistic in FACAN about the technology. We are happy that you are deploying services in the agri-sector.

“We welcome the development on both sides. They bring in their expertise, their efficiency, integrity and providing services that the farmer will be very happy at the end of the day,” he stated.

Describing it as a great day, Balogun noted that if implemented, it will ensure that delays in agricultural commodities production is reduced considerably.

Stressing that up to 90 per cent of the farmers in Nigeria are subsistence farmers, with just a few commercial farmers, he stressed that the new relationship between both organisations will help such smallholder farmers.

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of Greentech, Maxi Munachiso, explained that the technology will ensure  top-notch delivery, noting that the  target was to make drones popular in agricultural production in Nigeria.

According to him, the company aims to make the product a household one among farmers in the country.

In her remarks, Victoria Tabale, President, National Association of Spices Producers, said the new collaboration will be of benefit to women, who are mostly in the spices industry.

Also, FACA General Secretary, Bello Dogondagi,  said the organisation is an umbrella company of over 60 agricultural commodity associations in Nigeria, which are into production, processing, and marketing.

He explained that for instance, the technology will help to upscale the local production of sunflower in Nigeria, especially among cluster farmers.

He lauded  the synergy that is about to take place and called for collaboration of smallholder farmers.

Jibrin Bukar, Sunflower Producers President, promised to key in, noting that there was the need for high-tech equipment like the drones and also highlighted the need for affordability of the technology.

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