A national digital programme for satellite and artificial intelligence (AI) crop monitoring and yield forecasting is being developed in Kenya by the Directorate of Resource Surveys and Remote Sensing (DRSRS) and agriculture technology company, Agr-vision.
The DRSRS Deputy Director, Charles Situma, the platform would require the ability to digitally monitor and identify different crops across the country. It is also expected to give farmers and authorities access to a sophisticated analytics tool to improve data-driven decision-making, he continued. Thirty per cent of the gross domestic product of the Kenyan economy comes from the agriculture sector. The two organisations, however, voiced concern over the sector’s vulnerability in light of the current climate catastrophe. Situma said the agricultural industry and decision makers can improve sustainable food security with the aid of the digital technology. On his part, the Agr-vision Chief Operations Officer, Oscar Mwai, said the platform would help farmers and decision makers develop more sustainable food security programmes by providing them with exact information about soils, crops and forests.
For majority of Kenyans, farming is the main source of income when it comes to food security, economic growth, job creation, off-farm employment and foreign exchange profits. Unfortunately, the sector is now vulnerable to climate change, partly because of the rising temperatures, drought and the shifting patterns of rainfall. Like Nigeria, the situation for Kenyan farmers is not made any better by harsh weather, such as floods, poor farming methods, lack of knowledge and low-quality farm inputs, which have significant impact on the productivity of farmers. FarmingFarmersFarms’ findings show that Agrvision solutions leverage cutting-edge artificial inteligence/machine learning (AI/ML) to analyse big agri-data collected and provide highly-precise information about fields, crops, and forests.