Woolworths turns to drones to help local farmers

  • With today being World Earth Day, Woolworths is highlighting the role technology can play in helping local farmers.
  • It is specifically showcasing how drones have helped some of its suppliers in improving quality and revolutionise practices.
  • The retailer has also launched its Farming For the Future campaign to illustrate the importance of the task laid before farmers in feeding an ever-growing population.

Today is World Earth Day, which means that within the technology sector, sustainability will form a key focus for many. When it comes to local retailer Woolworths, it has used the Day to highlight the role technology can play in assisting agriculture in South Africa.

More specifically it is showcasing the fact that some of its suppliers have been able to revolutionise their operations thanks to the use of drones.

We have seen drones in particular prove a popular method of adopting technology within the agricultural field, with the likes of Aerobotics seeing much success as a startup leading the way.

Along with highlighting the role of technology, Woolworths has launched a new campaign to raise awareness among its customers, and signal the importance that farmers will play in helping to feed an ever-growing population.

“Embracing the power of technology to drive agricultural innovation, as part of the launch of an innovative Farming for the Future campaign, Woolworths has unveiled some of its suppliers’ groundbreaking use of drones to revolutionise farming practices worldwide. The intention behind the campaign and sharing of this information is to set a new standard in regenerative agriculture,” it noted.

“Central to the campaign’s mission is the integration of drone technology to identify plants under stress, empowering farmers to make data-driven decisions and conserve water resources. By utilising drones equipped with advanced sensors, farmers can precisely monitor the health of crops and detect signs of strain, allowing for targeted irrigation and resource management,” added the retailer in a release shared with Hypertext.

The retailer explained that with the use of drone technology, Farming for the Future will empower farmers to optimise water usage, reduce waste, and mitigate the impacts of climate change on agricultural productivity. It also says that by leveraging data-driven insights, farmers can enhance crop resilience, improve yield, and contribute to a more sustainable food system for the country.

“Some of our farmers use drones to check for trees that are compromised. Instead of watering all the trees all the time, the farmer can water only those who are thirsty and manage this precious resource better. This is just one example of how technology is transforming agriculture and paving the way for a more sustainable future,” pointed out Latiefa Behardien, chief food technology and sustainability officer at Woolworths.

“In addition to drone technology, Farming for the Future harnesses the power of science to protect and conserve water resources. By employing innovative water-saving techniques and precision irrigation methods, farmers can minimise water usage while maximising crop yields. From soil moisture sensors to predictive analytics, science plays a crucial role in ensuring the efficient use of water resources in agriculture,” the release continued.

Moving forward, Woolworth is inviting stakeholders from across the technology industry to join the retailer in advancing its vision of technology-enabled agriculture that promotes sustainability, resilience, and innovation.

You can listen to the Farming for the Future message here.

[Image – Photo by William Daigneault on Unsplash]


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