An eye in the sky for agriculture: the drone revolution
Climate change is having a major impact on food security. More than 815 million people are chronically hungry and 64 percent of the chronically hungry are in Asia. The world needs to increase food production by almost 50 percent by 2050 to feed a population of nine billion, yet resources such as land and water are becoming more and scarcer.
Farming communities and others involved in agriculture have to adapt agriculture to climate change and other challenges. In this context, ICT-driven tools and technologies to enhance decision making through accurate, reliable and timely information have an important role to play. Agriculture has to look towards emerging technologies for solutions to overcome some of the challenges facing it. FAO and ITU, together with partners, have been working together in addressing same of the challenges faced in agriculture through the use of sustainable ICTs.
“In the current milieu, use of sustainable information and communication technology in agriculture in not an option. It is a necessity.” Gerard Sylvester, Food and Agriculture Organization
One of the latest developments is the increase in the use of small, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, for agriculture. Drones are remote controlled aircraft with no human pilot on-board. These have a huge potential in agriculture in supporting evidence-based planning and in spatial data collection. Despite some inherent limitations, these tools and technologies can provide valuable data that can then be used to influence policies and decisions.