While highly industrialized Nations may be open to the idea of drones assisting us in our daily lives, the Country of Senegal may be a bit more close-minded on the subject. Senegal, a heavily rural country in Western Africa with over 14 million inhabitants and a GDP similar to the State of Vermont, is burdened with limited natural resources. It’s economy relies heavily on revenue from fish, phosphates, groundnuts, and tourism.
Senegal, with it’s direct accessibility to the Atlantic Ocean, is the Western-most tip of the “Gum Belt” which spreads East through countries like Mali, Chad, and Sudan. This area is known as the Gum Belt due to its keen availability of Acacia Gum, which is a common ingredient in many products sold in Western Industrialized Cultures. Acacia Gum is proven to have emulsifying properties which keep water and oils together, which makes it a valuable additive for the soft drinks, Americans so faithfully consume.
How Drones are becoming more acceptable in the Gum Belt.
The free-range cows, goats and other grazing animals in the Gum Belt are considered a predator to the Acacia Gum Trees. It’s like Hubba Bubba for cows, they can’t get enough of it. The Gum Farmers had to develop a strategy for keeping these ‘predators’ from eating up all their profits.
Employing an Army of Drones
After trial and error, lots of head scratching, trap setting and frustration, the farmers have found the solution; drones. They are now deploying drones with infrared cameras to keep a protective eye on their crops. Imagine the inquisitive goat, snooping around the Acacia Tree when it’s confronted with the buzzing sound of a drones rotors 12 inches above its head; A deterrent of masterful proportions!
It’s an aerial scarecrow, and just like scarecrows in the garden, the animal is never harmed. It’s the perfect solution!
Another common predator to the Acacia Trees are swarms of hungry locusts. Locusts have the ability to devour fields of crops in a matter of minutes. It’s been said during the 1800’s that locusts would be so dense they would actually block out the sun. Back then, farmers swore, swarms of locusts ate fields of crops, the wool off sheep, and even the handles off pitchforks. So, Acacia Trees, well they’re no match for these pesky insects.
As we see, drones have an uncanny ability to navigate difficult landscape more efficiently than humans. What started out as surveillance technique and bomb-dispersal system used by the CIA, drones have become so much more, in fact, they’ve now gone mainstream. It’s apparent the ‘use cases’ for drones will continue to broaden, and with so much more interest in drone technology, it will only get better for the commercial market.