Woolworths farmers integrate drone tech for agriculture

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer
Johannesburg, 22 Apr 2024
By utilising drones equipped with advanced sensors, farmers can precisely monitor the health of crops.
By utilising drones equipped with advanced sensors, farmers can precisely monitor the health of crops.

Embracing the power of technology to drive agricultural innovation, as part of the launch of its Farming for the Future campaign, Woolworths has provided some of its suppliers with drones.

In a statement, the retailer says the intention behind the campaign is to set a new standard in regenerative agriculture.

According to Woolworths, drone tech will 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, it explains.

“Some of our farmers use drones to check for trees that are compromised,” says Latiefa Behardien, chief food technology and sustainability officer at Woolworths at Farming for the Future.

“Instead of watering all the trees all the time, the farmer can water only those that 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.”

Woolworths notes that using drone tech empowers farmers to optimise water usage, reduce waste and mitigate the impact of climate change on agricultural productivity.

By leveraging data-driven insights, farmers can enhance crop resilience, improve yield and contribute to a more sustainable food system, it adds.

Farming for the Future also harnesses the power of science to protect and conserve water resources, says the retailer.

It points out that 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.

As part of the campaign launch, Woolworths has introduced an immersive digital experience to showcase the transformative potential of technology in agriculture.

Through an interactive online platform, visitors can explore the innovative use of drones, learn about water-saving techniques, and engage with relevant information to deepen their understanding of sustainable farming practices.

“We believe that technology has the power to unlock new possibilities in agriculture and drive positive change for our collective future,” emphasises Behardien.

“Through Farming for the Future, we aim to empower farmers with the tools and knowledge they need to thrive in a rapidly-changing world.”

Woolworths invites stakeholders from across the tech industry to join forces in advancing a shared vision of technology-enabled agriculture that promotes sustainability, resilience and innovation.

“By collaborating and innovating together, we can build a future where technology serves as a force for good in agriculture and beyond.”