1. Sustainability Problem: Agriculture (including animal farming) consumes about 2750 billion cubic metres of freshwater every year (70% of global water withdrawals) and will rise to 3300 – 3400 bcm per year (80-85% of global withdrawal, an increase equal to the water consumption of China), with increase in global population to 9.6 billion by 2050.
Category: Water, Health, Energy
- Crop imaging through easy-to-use agricultural drones equipped with cameras, worth less than $1,000, identifies specific areas on a field that needs to be attended to.
- Tractors autonomously plant seeds within a few centimeters of their target locations, and GPS-guided harvesters reap the crops with equal accuracy.
- Close monitoring of crops could improve water use and pest management, thereby reducing overall global water consumption.
3. Organizational Stakeholders: Drone manufacturers, Farmers and Regulatory agencies
4. Next steps for deployment:
- 3 million drones will be manufactured in 2017. Drone manufacturers have to create designs that can fit the imaging cameras.
- Farmers need to be trained in operating drones and in accepting the new technology.
- Regulatory agencies like Federal Aviation Agency need to ease aviation restrictions for drones, for wide deployment.