Telecommunications company TelOne has launched a crop monitoring service as it moves to revolutionise agriculture through modern technologies.
The platform, which uses satellite technology to monitor activity on the farm through mobile devices is aimed at ensuring that players in the agriculture value chain make critical decisions based on high quality earth observation data.
Crop monitoring services are part of TelOne’s digitisation programme where the telecommunication company is looking to provide the agriculture with smart technologies to improve the sector which remains the mainstay of the Zimbabwean economy.
“Most people here are farmers but struggle with shuttling between the farm and other commitments in the city. But through TelOne Crop Monitoring, mobile farming will be made easy,” TelOne managing director Chipo Mtasa said.
Telone partners Earth Observing Systems (EOS Data Analytics) and Cloud Services International to develop the app.
“With TelOne Monitoring one simply needs to map in their field through inputting coordinates onto the platform. Thereafter, the platform will start analysing the farm’s conditions producing data on variables like field monitoring, weather data, crop classification and yield prediction to be used in decision making” Mtasa said.
As Zimbabwe moves to implement smart agriculture, the platform is expected to give farmers remote knowledge their farms without necessarily being on site.
Through scientific data captured by satellite image, TelOne crop monitoring also provides real time information on weather forecasts, to enable farmers to prepare, information on veld fires and any damages in case of insurance claims.
“All these efforts are leading to the launch of the Smart Agriculture blueprint in November 2022. Our objective is to fit into the national strategic trajectory. This platform will entail robust scientific and data-driven methods to ensure maximum productivity and profitability per hectare and also improve national agriculture input,” Mtasa said at the product launch in the capital.
On pricing, the TelOne boss said the product will be pegged at US$2 per hectare per year, to ensure affordability.
“We will also offer other unique benefits like Farm Zoning Technology for use with precision farming equipment (i.e. smart tractor), Scouting mobile App, Farm Management features and access to Daily High Resolution images as optional Add on,” she said.