Many farmers dream of being able to visualize their land from above.Visualizing their fields can help them predict their upcoming yield, prioritize resources for areas where their crops might be suffering, and plan ahead.
Some large-scale farmers, like Keimetit Chemilel, who grows vegetables, corn, and other cereals in Kenya’s Rift Valley and Kitale areas, have used helicopters to help survey their land, but many farmers don’t have such a luxury. Instead, they are turning to lower-cost technologies to help them assess their land from above like drones.
Drones are unmanned aircraft guided by remote control or on board computers. Though some people may think they are toys, they are actually miniature planes with mounted cameras. Often referred to as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), they have become popular in Kenya in the art and music industries, where they are used to capture aerial shots for music videos. But they are becoming increasingly popular in the agricultural industry as well – particularly in South Africa, where companies like 3D Drone Map are bringing drones to everyday farmers in the hopes of helping them improve their businesses.