Farming has been made easy with precision agriculture. Precision agriculture in Nigeria has been in continuum development to tackle the variability of soil and crop conditions on farmland or field to ensures that farmers are enabled with technologies that increase profits while reducing risks. It is in continuous use to address the problem of misuse of agricultural land, inconsistency, and unsustainability while increasing productivity.
Isn’t it good if all farm management practices can be meticulously planned, monitored, and controlled before planting to storage and distribution stage using precise Agritech? Like asking how your crops or livestocks are doing at every stage and managing them to standard. Yes, this is what Precision Agriculture solves.
Precision Agriculture in Nigeria is just an unavoidable farming system for Nigeria farmers to efficiently manage their farm, thereby combating the issue of food security as the nation’s population increases daily, and with the prediction that the world’s population is expected to climax 9.8 billion by 2050.
You should not be left at the sea of how to start Precision Agriculture, so we provide you with Effective Technological Tools and Knowledge Required for Precision Agriculture in Nigeria:
Precision Agriculture is a systematic technique of applying the right amount of input (fertilizer, pesticide, water, crop, etc.) at the right location, at the right time in a way that optimizes farm returns and minimizes chemicals and protects the environment.
Planting is not enough, so getting maximum harvest should be considered at the planning stage of farm activities because the resultant effect of pre-planting activities, growth, and development cycles would be evident during harvest. To monitor these stages, some precision technologies should be incorporated.
These technologies include crop yield measuring devices installed on harvesting equipment which have the capability of indicating yield (kg/ha), weight, ha/hour, hectare worked, grain moisture content. The system work by providing information on crop yield at regular intervals by time or distance. The yield data from the monitor is recorded and stored at regular intervals along with corresponding location data as received from the GPS unit, then the GIS software is used to produce yield maps through the measured
Global Positioning System (GPS)
This is a network of satellites that transmit precise satellite time and location information to ground receivers. It is used to get the location of yield data collected within one to three meters on the field. The ground receiving units can receive this location information from several satellites at a time for use in calculating a triangulation fix thus determining the exact location of the receiver. This is used to produce yield maps for each field.
Geographical Information System (GIS)
This is an integrated open-source computer software system that is used to collate, store, analyse and display spatially received geographical information from Global Positioning System (GPS) and yield monitors in a map-like form.
Variable Rate Technology
This system works with precise geographical information received about the field condition and the need for crop, nutrient, and water of each grid location. The nutrient, environmental condition, or water need is formulated and programmed in a precise and controllable way into farm field and equipment. Such equipment is sprayer used for drip irrigation and soluble fertilizer application, planter with the ability to precisely control the rate of application of crop inputs and tillage operations. VRT is also used to control drainage and for environmental conditioning such as canopy temperature and humidity.
The controllable way makes fertilizer applicator
with VRT system provide
a means by which required fertilizer applications are made only in amounts and locations where they are needed. Same as for the planter.
This is an inbuilt system in farm equipment that detects temperature, light, pH, oxygen, moisture, etc from the soil, crops, and environment. They are used before planting to the storage stage to detect certain problems and by that solution can be made and maintained throughout the processes.
For example, remote sensing can help in detecting small problem areas caused by pathogens and diseases which can inform optimized time and quantity for fungicide applications. Other sensored equipments are soil moisture sensor, digital light sensor, portable soil sampler, etc. The on-site data generated is processed and then added to the GIS database.
Computer Hardware and Software
Through the knowledge of data analytics, a computer is required to analyse the data collected by yield monitors and GPS as this will be transformed into readable formats such as maps, graphs, charts, or words for decision making.
There are emerging technologies in precision agriculture in Nigeria and all over the world is the application of Agricultural Robots (Agbots), Drones and IoT but most of the technologies discussed in this post are integrated into designed computer hard wares, software, and farm equipment which works best in their combinations to each farmer need and scalability. Similarly, they are very affordable and obtainable in Nigeria.
There are international and local product and service providers of these technologies such as the Nigeria Centre for Agricultural Mechanization (NCAM) Idofian, Kwara State, Nigeria.
Precision Agriculture PDF
Download this free guide on Precision Agriculture. Click here
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