Thursday, 9 August 2018

Osun State Deploys Drones in Combating Livestock Theft, Attacks

To address the issue of livestock theft and attacks in Osun State, the state government has rolled out plans to employ the use of drones. This was revealed by the state’s Commissioner for Innovation, Science and Technology, Oluremi Omowaiye, during the ICTEL Expo 2018 in Lagos.



According to iAfrikan, in addition to the use of drones, the state has also built a call center and has announced an SMS short code which people in Osun State, especially farmers, can use to track the movement of live stocks in the surrounding areas.

Speaking on the development, the Commissioner said, “The State, will in the coming week, launch unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drone as a monitor tool to track movement of live stocks in the State.”

There have been incidents of clashes between herdsmen and crop farmers. Both parties have traded blames as it pertains their different lines of agribusiness. Farmers have been accusing herdsmen in the area of failing to control their cattle and thus in turn they end up damaging their crops. In return, the herdsmen have accused the crop farmers of stealing their cattle.

According to iAfrikan, this conflict, is estimated to cost Nigeria approximately $16 billion in potential revenues every year.

More heartbreaking is the number of deaths recorded in these different bouts of clashes. Osun State has seen thousands dead with little or no solution in sight by authorities.

According to Omowaiye, the reportedly low-cost solution which uses GPS enabled drones, will monitor cattle movement in the area and will also evaluate the impact of cattle grazing on farmlands.

“When we started putting up an inquiry and call centre the need a short code arose; so that it will be easy for people to call. We approached NCC for a 3-digit short code which we are going to make a toll free line. NCC supported us. We are going to commission it next week,” said Omowaiye.

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