Ndubuisi Eze, “The Drone Guy” as he is popularly called, is one of the TEF beneficiaries.
He applied to the Foundation’s Programme with an idea to unlock the potential of smart farming. He had plans to build drones with dual capability – to help farmers with crop dusting and provide information about the farm through multispectral cameras and sensors.
With only 40% of available arable land being cultivated in Nigeria, he knew that the potential for smart farming techniques was huge. “Africa is known for its intensive farming and land degradation worsens every year. Tractors are still needed for clearing the soil and for harvesting at the end, but everything in between could be done with drones,” he said.
With the seed capital he received from the Tony Elumelu Foundation, he launched Aerial Industries, a company devoted to building and deploying multi-purpose industrial-size drones as agriculture aerial tractors for intensifying mechanization on farm fields.
By 2018, he and his team had made commitments to helping 56 rural farm communities with their innovation from the south to the northern Sahel parts of Nigeria with over 3,000 farm cooperative preliminary agreements and MOUs.
Recently, his tech-innovation caught the attention of the Government of Singapore and was bought by the country. The innovation enables users to capture the crop/ soil data that allows agronomists to evaluate the crops’ health and soil nutrient values. He was also selected to present his company and its innovations at the Expo Dubai 2020.