A Fertilizing Drone that Increases the Speed of Farming. From EIA: Girls Who Innovate

We’re featuring blogs from winners of the EIA: Girls Who Innovate Competition, which challenged girls around the world to propose solutions around the growth, production, distribution and consumption of food.

Maria M
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Today we’re featuring a blog from Maria, a student from the United States who took 1st place in the 16 to 18 year old division.

Preventing World Hunger

Today, there are more than 7 billion people living on Earth. But, nearly 50% of that number lives on less than $2.50 a day. This means that half of the population doesn’t have easy access to food and other necessities that we, as Americans, take for granted. With this in mind, the population is expected to grow up to 10 billion by the year 2050. If we can’t feed half the population now, imagine how much worse world hunger will be in 33 years! That is why we need to develop a faster way to produce food in order to help those in need now, and prevent world hunger in the future. Lucky for you, I have developed an idea that annihilates world hunger, and quickens the production of food using some fertilizer and a drone.

Farming is the root of all food

It is safe to say that farming is the root of all food. In countries all over the world, people grow their food in order to feed their families. Even though Americans mainly eat food that is produced in factories, farming is still involved. Here’s an example: let’s say you’re eating flakes for breakfast. Sure the cereal was produced in a factory, but before that, the wheat, used to make the flavorful O’s, was farmed! Since the rate in which food is grown is not fast enough to feed the entire population, my idea works on better accommodating the population on Earth. The first part of my plan includes using a fertilizer that quickens the process of growing plants up to four times its original amount.

Since farmers already have to water all the plants on a farm, you might be thinking that adding fertilizer would make farming slower rather than faster. But, the fertilizer already includes water, which scratches the need to add any additional water. Plus, this plan consists of using drones to add the fertilizer to each plant; eliminating the time it takes to do it manually.

To start, a hose is attached to each plant. On one side of the hose is a strainer (to prevent objects from falling in) that is stretched to the top of the plant facing up. The other side of the hose is open with a spike in it, and is positioned inside the roots of the tree. This hose will be used to send any liquid that lands in the strainer to the roots of the plant.

Using drones to deliver fertilizer

In order to keep this time efficient, a drone can be used to deliver the fertilizer. A tank of this liquid is attached to the drone, and flies over each plant. While doing this, it drops off the necessary amount of liquid onto the strainer, goes through the tube, and feeds the plant. However, the amount of liquid dropped off varies by the type of plant.

drones to deliver fertilizer

Since drones do not have an unlimited battery life, and the tank holds a restricted amount of liquid, the whole farm can’t be fertilized in one sitting. So, my idea also consists of refilling stations, which recharge the drone and refill the tank. The drone lands at one of these stations, and recharges while the tank is being filled with more liquid. Each station gets the fertilizer through a tube from a nearby warehouse that is already supplied with the fertilizer. So when the drone is docked, the liquid runs from the warehouse, through the tube, and into the drone’s tank. With this, the process can run on a continuous cycle, and also lets farmers work on other tasking jobs while technology takes care of the time consuming part.

Even though farming is used all over the world, there are some areas where farming is challenging due to the conditions of their land. Considering this, the drone has a gadget that can make farming work in any type of area. It has a detector on it that can identify vitamins and minerals in any field. After pinpointing these, the missing ones can be evaluated, and added to the fertilizer. With this, farming can be done in any area, and underdeveloped nations can use this invention to feed the hungry.

World hunger is in dire need of a solution, and the exponential growth of the planet is about to make it worse. This idea has the potential to eliminate the food crisis, and also better prepare for the expected extra 3 billion people in 33 years. Since farming can work in any type of area, it can be done across the U.S., and hopefully encourage Americans to gradually shift from buying processed foods and more towards organically grown food. It is key to address the problem now as opposed to later because, similar to farming, “if you start one thing late, you will be late in all of your work” (Cato the Elder).

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