My Dream Journey To Assemble a Crop Spraying Drone

Tukupalamwalyolo
4 min readMay 8, 2023
A crop spraying drone

It was in 2017 that I went to assist my parents with farm activities. My parents are involved in the production of food crops such as corn and beans. It was weeding season and the time for the application of pesticides on the farm. Herbicide is one of the pesticides that destroyed crops and reduced farmers’ harvest.

I didn’t like the way crops were sprayed by hand because I saw my parents and coworkers get sick from the pesticides used in the spraying process. They got diarrhea, rashes, blisters, nausea, dizziness, and eyes that hurt. These obstacles piqued my curiosity regarding the solutions to the problems. The first thing I did was ask my parents how to fix the problem. They did not have an answer to my question because the method they used to spray crops in the fields to kill insects and weeds has become common and appears to be effective for them.

I did not give up on finding the best solution to the challenges because I realized that it was important not only for my parents but also for my community and country as a whole, which face the same agricultural challenges. In 2019, when I was in my first year at the University of Dar es Salaam, I was lucky enough to get my first hands-on training at the Resilience Academy. There, I learned how to put together a drone using materials like bamboo and wood that were easy to find nearby.

I became more interested in drone technology and realized it was possible to have a crop-spraying drone that could replace a human. I didn’t know how it would be possible, but I remained optimistic that one day I would be able to do it in my country. While being mentored by OMDTZ in 2020, I continued to seek more and more information.

Assembling spraying mechanism into the drone before starting spraying activity

I kept learning more about drones and looking forward to the day when my dream would come true. I had the opportunity to be an OpenSkies Fellow under OMDTZ in 2022, where I received funding to help me achieve my dream goals. During that time, I was able to get all of the information and tools I needed to start my journey and reach my goal.

In the end, I had to put my idea into a drone in order to reach my goal. I had to be very dedicated and study a lot by seeking out great knowledge in order to achieve my dream, and this resulted in many sleepless nights as I worked toward my goal. And I worked with two of my colleagues, Faidha Hussein and Francis Mtalewa, to put the drone together. Each of them was able to come up with their own idea of what problem the relevant drone could solve.

I am collaborating with my colleague Faidha Hussein on the assembly of a drone.

Before I put a spraying mechanism in the drone, I had to test it to see how it worked. After completing the testing process, it was time to mount the tank and the entire mechanism on the drone. After attaching the tank and spraying mechanism to the drone, the next important step was to enable the drone to communicate with the mechanism and allow water to flow out or not.

Testing spraying mechanism by using a water,pump and nozzle

It was not an easy task on my side alone; I then had to cooperate with my mentor, Mr. BornLove Ntikha, who had a great contribution and helped me ensure that my goal became successful. After all of my struggles and dreams since 2017, they finally came true in November 2022. I am now able to fly a crop spraying drone and help farmers with problems they have when spraying crops.

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Tukupalamwalyolo

Founder:Youth&DroneCommunity ///Certified drone pilot--EASA ||||Computer Engineer by proffesion