Business

Move with technology, farmers urged

ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
JOHN Deere sub-Saharan Africa product manager Vikar Sheopershad has called on farmers to adapt the latest technology that provides data on how to improve their farming capabilities.
Mr Sheopershad said agriculture has evolved over the years, hence the need for farmers to move with global trends if they are to remain competitive.
He said sharing of information between farmers and agronomists experts will enhance productivity and food security.
Mr Sheopershad said in an interview at the Grain South Africa’s Nampo Harvest Day recently that it is encouraging to witness commercial farmers in Zambia embracing smart agriculture to enable them enhance their yields.
This is contained in a statement availed to the Daily Mail by Zambia National Farmers Union. media liaison officer Kingsley Kaswende.
“The technologies that we have for Zambia include the GPS StarFire 3000 where the tractor is able to drive on its own. Using the hydraulics of the tractor and the GPS, it will keep the tractor in a straight line for you. It comes with a 26 tough screen to enable you do documentation and get all your field information in terms of how much seed you planted, fertiliser you put down and the area you have done.
“Our technology also gives the farmer data which they can share with their agronomists or soil or fertiliser experts to improve efficiency.
“We are also introducing the FarmSight which is a new strategy, and the other new product under that umbrella is a JDLink, a telemetric programme which provides your tractor information on a computer. You can send information from your computer to the tractor. With this technology, while your operator is working hands free in the field, your tractor will be sending regular updates on how and where it is operating so that you can better manage your operation, machinery and costs,” Mr Sheopershad said.
This technology will enable farmers acquire information on the type of soil they are dealing with through some signals that will be sent from the machine. For example, if the moisture in the soils is dry, a farmer will immediately switch on their pivot irrigation systems.
“It will send you an alert if the moisture content in the ground is enough,” Mr Sheopershad said.


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