Aerial Spraying of Crop Farms in Ghana. Is it Safe?

There has been increasing attention towards the benefits and huge potential in adopting aerial spraying of crop farms in Ghana by medium to large scale commercial farm owners. It is also of huge interest to smallholder farmers undertaking block farming schemes as well. Agricinghana Media has also been one of the lead promoters of crop spray services in Ghana. Now we have some questions.

What is aerial crop spraying? Aerial crop spraying is the act of deploying remotely piloted aircraft systems (example: drones) or manned aircrafts (example: helicopter, light aircrafts) with appropriate payload mounted on the vehicle for automated application of agrochemicals, fertilizers or seeds.

Image Credit: Banana farms_Google Stock Image.

This approach to spraying farms is stress-free, covers a wider cropping area, and reduces agrochemical effect on farmers.

The issue: what about the surrounding residential communities inhabited by humans ( village folks)?

Most commercial farms in Ghana are in proximity to dispersed villages, sometimes interpersed communities. Is there not the likelihood of aerial sprayed agrochemicals coming into contact with humans and having health implications on rural households and communities? What about run-off sprays? Wind can easily carry chemical particles and deposit into people’s homes.

It will be interesting to see if such aerial use-case scenarios has been captured by the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) regulations with respect to RPAS use for crop spraying.

We will be interested in detailed research on this topical area. Any academic researcher out there?

Agricinghana Media will be monitoring such planned and on-going aerial crop spray initiatives in the country.


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