Kenyan farmers can now go ahead and acquire drones after the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority published the new rules.

Drones can be used in livestock monitoring, irrigation management,

The KCAA director general Gilbert Kibe said operators of the remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems who wish to import them to apply and pay the requisite fee.

According to the Kenya Civil Aviation (Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems Regulations, 2017), Kenyans are now allowed to acquire drones for sports, private activities, and commercial purposes.

Kibe said those who had already imported drones before the commencement of the regulations gazetted on October 6 have six months to apply for registration.

Drones are becoming popular in precision agriculture, a farming management concept that uses drones for agriculture to measure, observe, and respond to variability found in crops.

Japan has for years  been using drones to help rice farmers, and they are a new entry into many countries.

Some of the best farming drones, according to Businessinsider website are:

Some of the top rated drones in 2017 for agricultural/farming use are:

  • Honeycorp AgDrone: The drone has a wing that is composed of Kevlar fiber composite, a material that cannot be cracked like carbon fiber, or which quickly fall to pieces like foam can. It therefore makes for a very durable, versatile, and powerful selection for drones in agriculture.
  • DJI Matrice 100: It has dual battery components that allow for extended flight time of up to 40 minutes, making it a good choice for farmers and agriculturists.
  • DJI T600 Inspire 1: This drone is suitable for agricultural use and has a 4K video recording capability, separate flight and camera control, with a carbon fiber frame.
  • Agras MG-1 – DJI: This is an octocopter designed to spray large areas of farmland with pesticides or fertilizers. As it can cover an extraordinary amount of distance quickly – 4,000-6,000 m² in just 10 minutes – DJI, the Chinese drone manufacturer claims that it is 40-60 times more efficient than manual spraying.
  • Ebee SQ – SenseFly: This is a precision agricultural drone designed to monitor crops from planting to harvest.
  • Lancaster – Precision Hawk: This drone has many possible uses within the agricultural industry- It’s proprietary AI reacts to changing weather conditions and real-time diagnostics, while it can also be fitted with a range of imaging functions depending on what is required. Offering topography mapping, weather and temperature profiles, fast disease detection and drainage estimations, the Lancaster is an adaptable, precision solution drone.

Agricultural drones are high-tech systems that can do things a farmer can’t: soil health scans, monitoring crop health, applying fertilizers and watering the fields, even tracking weather and estimating yields, and then collecting the data and analyzing it for prompt action.

Previously, scanning crop fields had traditionally required large sensors and manned aircrafts. Thanks to rapidly advancing technology, this process now employs smaller, multispectral imaging sensors and UAVs. This reduces cost and provides a clearer understanding of crop health, thereby allowing for more efficient decisionmaking.

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