Nigeria, like most African countries, faces the problem of inter-communal wars sparked off by cattle rustling. To be specific, it is estimated that Nigeria loses about $16 billion per year (as potential revenues) due to the conflict that arises from cattle rustling.
The inter-communal fights over cattle in Nigeria is mainly between communities that predominantly do crop farming and those that mostly keep cattle. The farmers accuse the herdsmen of having a tendency of not controlling their cattle, which end up getting into their farms and destroying their crops. While the herdsmen accuse the crop farmers of stealing their cattle. Leading to clashes between the two communities; the herdsmen versus the crop farmers. These conflicts have led to the loss of thousands of lives, and so far there has not been a feasible solution in sight.
Nigeria’s Osun State has announced an innovative program that will see the State deploy drones to monitor the movement of the cattle. That announcement was made by the Commissioner for Innovation, Science, and Technology for Osun State, Oluremi Omowaiye during Nigeria’s ICTEL Expo 2018 in Lagos.
In addition to deploying drones to the sky to monitor the movement of the cattle, the Osun State will also set up a call center and has made public an SMS short code that people can use to track down cattle movements in their areas.
“The State, will in the coming week, launch unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drone as a monitor tool to track movement of live stocks in the State,” announced Omowaiye.
This drone-based solution is reported to be low-cost and will leverage on GPS to monitor the cattle movement in a given area. The drone will be the eyes and ears of a system that will analyze the impact of the livestock’s grazing in the farmlands.
“When we started putting up an inquiry and call center, the need of a shortcode arose; so that it will be easy for people to call. We approached NCC for a 3-digit short code, which we are going to make a toll free line. NCC supported us. We are going to commission it next week,” added Omowaiye.