A pilot project, underway in Tunisia, is designed to reduce food imports. Drone technology is being used to collect and analyse data, and monitor irrigated areas, combat pests, Africanews reports.
The Bank launched the project, in cooperation with the Busan Metropolitan City in Korea with support from the Korea-Africa Cooperation fund (KOAFEC).
The session in Malabo included Korea’s ambassador to Equatorial Guinea H.E Kwak Ji Hwan, Korean technical experts, senior Bank officials, and private sector representatives.
“We see Korea as a strategic partner with respect to technology transfer, especially ICT technologies, drone technologies, and technology to improve crop varieties,” said Martin Fregene, the Bank’s Director of Agriculture and Agro-Industry.
Four hundred and sixty drone pilots are to be trained in 14 months.
The use of industrial drones, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing, in pest control management, security, and the delivery of supplies in remote areas was extensively discussed.
According to Fregene, following the completion of the pilot phase, the project will be expanded o other countries and regions in Africa. “our expectation is that in many cases drone technology can increase land yields by up to five times.”
In 2017, Africa imported $64.5 billion worth of food. ‘Feed Africa’ is one of the Bank’s High Five priorities launched in 2016 to transform and industrialize African agriculture and make Africa a net food exporter by 2025.