Now, monitor your 1,000-mile away farmlands from home

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY LAURENT ABADIE A photo taken on September 9, 2014 shows a drone flying over vineyards of the Pape Clement castle, belonging to Bordeaux winemaker Bernard Magrez in the soutwestern French town of Pessac. Magrez is the first winemaker to have bought last February a drone equipped with a infrared camera to determine the optimal maturity of the domain's grapes and thus harvest them at different times.  AFP PHOTO JEAN PIERRE MULLER.        (Photo credit should read JEAN PIERRE MULLER/AFP/Getty Images)

ALKESH SHARMA / Emirates Business

Thanks to UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) technology, soon UAE-based agriculturists and investors will be able to monitor their sprawling farmlands situated as far as in Sudan, without even stepping out of their homes.
Under the concept of remote ownership, this could be made possible through smart drones that would do daily monitoring of faraway meadows and send daily reports, consisting of imagery and detailed description of grey areas that need immediate attention, right on the smart-phone of the actual owner.
India-based technology start-up TartanSense is offering easy solutions to UAE residents to oversee their fields located thousands of miles away from their homes and offices.
“There are many investors in the UAE, who have invested their money in agriculture sector in other countries like Sudan. They own farms, running into several hectares, and have outsourced people to cultivate. Now it is practically not possible for them to observe or supervise while sitting here and they have to rely on information coming through second hand,” said JaisimhaRao, founder and chief executive officer of TartanSense, which is headquartered in Bangalore.
“By using our drones, UAE entrepreneurs will be able to do easy overseeing of their land on a daily basis. Besides, they will get regular updates in the form of bar graphs and pie-charts, demarcating the levels of expected yield from different areas in the field. Accordingly, farmers will take action to take care of the areas that are not showing promising yields,” added Rao.
Drones usually weigh between two and five kilogram and are low maintenance devices that could be easily controlled through computer software.TartanSense is currently offering the similar drone technology to investors who own farms in Indonesia, Sierra Leone and India. The UAE expressed keen interest in their technology in the recently-held Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GIFA), Abu Dhabi.
“Response is awesome from the UAE market. We have got dozens of queries from investors, who want to test our technology in their farms,” Rao pointed out.
TartanSense uses the flying UAVs to capture and analyse aerial imagery for precision agriculture. NIR (Near Infra-Red) sensors enable to distinguish between plants that exhibit stress versus plants that are healthy by analysing aerial images. This data enables farmers to make precise decisions on where to irrigate and fertilise, thereby directly improving their bottom line. The company did a proper homework before eyeing the UAE market.
“Abu Dhabi government is quite progressive when it comes to improving agriculture infrastructure. We have studied Middle East market very well and the UAE seems an ultimate market for drone technology. This country is open to experiment new technologies and is ready to cover an extra mile while adopting an innovative concept,” said the technical support team member of TrantanSense.

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