KNUST, UNIST use drone technology to identify diseased crops
The College of Engineering (CoE), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is leading a novelty project to use drone technology to identify diseased crops for agricultural productivity.
Professor Mark Adom-Asamoah, the Provost, said the project whose prototypes were in the infant stages of design, after successful execution would be used in identifying specific diseases in real time.
The drones function is to hover over the farm, take videos and pictures of the target objects (crops) and scan them to identify diseased ones
“The College intends to introduce the technology to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) for further development and increased productivity on the farm,” Prof. Adom-Asamoah told the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Kumasi.
This was on the sideline of a ceremony to demonstrate the project, which is a collaborative work between the KNUST and Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), South Korea.
The occasion was also used to demonstrate a waste sorting machine designed through an exchange programme of the two universities.
According to a problem statement that informed the ‘Drone in Agriculture’ project, large-scale farming in Ghana is a daunting task, especially in relation to its monitoring.
“This seemingly innocuous reason costs the Ghanaian farmer so much in money and in time, because, diseases spread over large areas only become detectable even by the most experienced eyes after they have advanced,” the statement emphasized.
Prof. Adom-Asamoah said disease outbreaks and upsurges could cause huge losses to crops, threatening the livelihoods of vulnerable farmers and food security.
The University, he said, would, therefore, not relent in working to find innovative means to assist farmers to overcome such predicament in order to improve their wellbeing.
Prof. George Yaw Obeng, Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, KNUST, said the nation ought to continually invest in science and technology education to help harness the potentials in the youth for sustainable growth.
Dr. Jerry John Kponyo, Dean of the Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering, KNUST, said the University was happy to be working with their South Korean counterparts to address societal development challenges.