The Western Cape Department of Agriculture is playing a leading role in innovation in the sector
Western Cape MEC for Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde attended a demonstration of the drone technology currently being piloted on Elsenburg farm.
Winde says his research department has been looking into measures of transferring costly satellite imagery, that is used to observe moisture content for grape and fruit farmers, to drone technology, which will be much cheaper.
Our research guys have been doing some amazing things. They can do infrared fly overs over crops, they can look at where crops are over or under-watered. They are also doing work on fence monitoring, counting and tracking of animals.— Alan Winde, Western Cape MEC for Economic Opportunities
Winde says the bigger drone they're using at Elsenburg at the moment has about a seven kilometer range. He adds that with the drone, they are able to detect blockages in an irrigation system for example.
Winde adds that this is the type of technology they can make available to farmers at cheaper rates.
17% of our employment in the province comes from agriculture and agri-processing— Alan Winde, Western Cape MEC for Economic Opportunities
Winde says everyone is under immense pressure with this drought.