Roundup: Chinese agricultural technologies attract visitors at Africa fertilizer expo

  • World
  • Friday, 10 May 2024

NAIROBI, May 9 (Xinhua) -- Benedict Russo, a farmer in his late 40s, was among the hundreds of visitors who attended the Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, to explore the latest agricultural technology products on display.

During an interview with Xinhua on Wednesday, Russo expressed his delight at discovering the stand by DJI, a Chinese technology company that manufactures drones, as he sought the latest agricultural solutions to boost his farm yields.

The father of three, who owns a cotton farm in the southeastern Kenyan county of Kitui, said he is interested in acquiring a drone to monitor the health of cash crops on his expansive farm. "The agricultural drones will enable me to detect early signs of disease without the use of many laborers at the farm," Russo explained, hoping that by purchasing the drones, he would reduce his operating costs and boost profits.

Steven Dai, a sales executive at DJI, said that their drones are equipped with the latest technology for efficient aerial surveying of large parcels of land at minimal cost.

DJI drones, with high-resolution cameras, facilitate precise spraying of pesticides for better results compared to manual back-carried sprayers, he added.

The three-day fertilizer summit, themed "Listen to the Land," began Tuesday and drew over 2,000 attendees, including foreign donors, scientists and agriculture officials. Convened by the African Union (AU), the Kenyan government and multilateral partners, the summit is expected to adopt a new roadmap for revitalizing soil health in Africa.

Kenyan President William Ruto called on African leaders to adopt strategies to make fertilizer affordable and accessible to farmers.

"Our focus should not only be on increasing fertilizer usage but also on ensuring its judicious application to revitalize responsive soils and rehabilitate degraded ones," he noted.

Wilberforce Khaminwa, a 39-year-old wheat farmer from Narok County, said that participating in the summit enabled him to interact with the latest Chinese agricultural products.

"I prefer Chinese machinery because their spare parts and after-sales support are more readily available in Kenya," he added.

Paul Ronoh, principal secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, said that the summit also aimed to showcase the latest products to enhance the productivity of Kenya's agricultural sector.

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