Since 2020, Kalam4Solutions, a woman-led Pakistani company, has been educating Pakistani farmers how to use drones that can hover above fields and conduct backbreaking jobs like spraying pesticides and applying fertilizers in a fraction of the time it takes to do it by hand.
Kalam4Solutions, founded in 2018 by Rozeena Saleha, aims to provide high-tech relief for rural communities and help farmers save time, energy, and money in a country where agriculture is the largest sector of the economy, accounting for roughly 24 percent of GDP, employing half of the labor force, and being the largest source of foreign exchange earnings through exports.
Since implementing drone technology in 2020, Kalam4Solutions has sprayed over 3,000 hectares. The company’s crews, which consist of two technicians and two drone operators, are currently stationed at farms in the northwestern cities of Swabi and Mardan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, as well as Rahim Yar Khan in Punjab. Each drone costs the corporation roughly $13,000 (Rs2.5 million), and farmers pay Rs2,000 per hectare.
A drone can apply insecticides and fertilizer to a 40-acre field in a day, whereas a human can only cover one acre in the same amount of time, and that while carrying heavy tanks.
Kalam4Solutions was established in 2018 to provide information technology solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. Kalam4Solution’s is focused on cultivating professional relationships with clients to provide effective and reliable information technology solutions for their needs.
Why Drones in Agriculture
According to a new study published in the journal “Acquaculture” titled “Efficiency of Using Drones in Agricultural Production,” the use of unmanned aerial vehicles helps enhance crop productivity by 20% while lowering costs by up to 15%.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), demographic changes, technological improvements, and climate change are driving the trend toward data-driven precision agriculture and other digital technologies across Asia.
“They help farmers produce more with less water, land, inputs, energy, and labor, while protecting biodiversity and reducing carbon emissions,” the FAO stated in a report on agricultural digitalization published last year.
“Farmers can optimize yields and achieve significant cost savings, increased efficiency, and increased profitability,” it claimed.
Drones, according to Saleha, could also be utilized for analytics and crop health management, allowing farmers to diagnose damage via aerial view and execute corrective actions to increase agricultural yields.
“We can integrate multiple payloads with it, including not only fertilizers and spraying, but also very sensitive sensors that can help farmers identify any damage to their farmland,” stated the CEO.
“If the damage is recognized early in crop growth, the farmer can take countermeasures… Farmland production and overall yield can be increased four or five times.”
Saleha’s future ambitions include focusing on material innovation by manufacturing structural pieces of drones in-house rather than importing them at exorbitant prices, as well as seeking finance for her startup.