15 December 2022, Africa: The 2022 APNI Precision Agriculture Awards (PA Awards) were recently presented in conjunction with the 2nd African Conference on Precision Agriculture (AfCPA) hosted this 7-9 December, 2022, in Nairobi, Kenya.
The PA Award committee was pleased to recognize the contributions of two Early Career Scientists. Each recipient receives a cash award of USD $2,500. The 2022 Precision Agriculture Award Recipients are:
Dr. Mbulisi Sibanda is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Geography, Environmental Studies and Tourism, University of the Western Cape. His focus is on research and teaching in GIS and Remote Sensing. He is a South African National Research Foundation (NRF) Early Career Researcher and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Transformative Agricultural and Food Systems at the University of KwaZulu Natal. He completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in 2020, a Ph.D. in Optical Remote Sensing of Grassland Biomass in Data Scarce Environments at the University of KwaZulu – Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa in 2017, and an MPhil in Geography specializing in GIS and Remote sensing applications, at the University of Zimbabwe in 2011.
Mbulisi’s research interests are broadly in Environmental Science, with a focus on GIScience and Earth Observation applications. He is interested and passionate about working in an interdisciplinary / transdisciplinary collaborative environment. He uses biodiversity conservation practices, agroecology, hydrology, and remote sensing to simulate the impact of climate change, alien invasive species, and other agents on terrestrial ecosystems and agricultural landscapes. His current research is centered on the use of drone technologies in agroecological ecosystems. He also has extensive experience in human socioeconomic research, particularly in relation to climate change.
Mr. Femi Adekoya, Managing Director, Integrated Aerial Precision Ltd, Nigeria, is a plant health scientist by training, an AgricTech professional, and an experienced practitioner in the agricultural & horticultural industry with over a decade year experience. He has a strong interest and experience with agricultural innovations and technologies. He holds B.Agric (FUNAAB) and MSc. Integrated Pest Management (Harper Adams University) through the prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship by the UK Government.
Currently, Femi leads as the Precision Agriculture Specialist at IA Precision; an enterprise where he uses UAVs and geospatial data analytics to help smallholders and commercial farmers, and relevant agricultural stakeholders adopt and practice precision agriculture. Furthermore, to address the lack of awareness and dedicated education for capacity building towards precision agriculture; he founded Precision Field Academy serving as the Head of Training, bridging the knowledge and skill gaps in precision agriculture and technologies.
The PA Award committee decides upon the distribution of the award after considering all applications received within its Early Career and Senior Scientist divisions. The application process is open to all persons working within a African National Agricultural Research Institution (NARS), University, International Research and Development Center, or agricultural industry. To be eligible as an Early Career Scientist, applicants must also be 40 years-old or younger at the time of application.
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