Mmegi Online :: Time to embrace new tech in Agriculture
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Monday 19 March 2018, 06:30 am.
Time to embrace new tech in Agriculture

We had good rains this year, for the first time in more than 10 years.
By Mmegi Editor Thu 20 Apr 2017, 17:11 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Time to embrace new tech in Agriculture

The rains started end of October through to February, giving some farmers an opportunity to plough their fields early. We have to thank the Department of Metereological Services for giving a good forecast of the rains, something that engendered confidence in the farmers to till their fields.

However, the rains usually bring with them bad company such as destructive insects and animals and plant diseases, as well as diseases affecting humans.

Tomato Leaf miner or Tuta absoluta and armyworm amongst others, caused a lot of havoc and harm to our anticipated bumper harvest and this should not recur in future. The Minister of Agriculture, Patrick Ralotsia has revealed that this year a total of 9,205.36 hectares have been planted, which was lower than last year’s 13,101.54. These figures vary because of many factors such as ill -health or death of committed farmers. For others, they chose not to plough because of the previous years of drought that had a serious bearing on their last harvest.

It is therefore critical for the Government to consider adopting more technology and advanced implements to fight the inhibitant to our good harvest. The use of small helicopters and drones to assist the small farmer will definitely drive away the army worm, quelea bird and Tomato Leaf miner. Many people are interested in farming, but some of them are discouraged by these destructive pests


and invasive plants that leave them with nothing to take home.  Some countries such as Uganda have adopted the use of drones to drop off critical medicines in places that are not easy to access by road or using aeroplanes.

While the Ministry has stated that it continued to conduct research on better ploughing methods, it is critical to engage new technologies and reduce heavy reliance on nature to allow us to produce food.

All evidence is there for everybody to see that a lot has changed in the last two decades in terms of climate change. Mother nature is taking a new direction and there is a clear warning that there is need for something to be done to cushion the effects of climate change.

It will be naïve of us to spend billions of pula sponsoring the small-scale farmer while on the other hand we cannot assist to ensure that he gets a good harvest. Failure to adopt new methods will see us importing thousands of tonnes of maize, and sorghum during dry seasons when we could have produced more for our storages during good times.  Time to act is now, and in the process we will be creating jobs for the youth.

Today’s thought

“The ultimate goal of farming is not the

growing of crops, but the cultivation and

perfection of human beings.”


– Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution

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Thu 13 Apr 2017, 13:41 pm
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