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Alumnus receives Royal African Award for eye-catching drone work in Nigeria

Posted 31 May

“Studying for a Master's degree in Integrated Pest Management at Harper Adams University has armed me with the knowledge, skills, and industry exposure to contribute to efforts geared towards solving real-life challenges militating the sustainability of the agri-food sector of my country."

Femi and some of the drones he uses in his award-winning work.

Eye-catching work by a Harper Adams graduate who tackles pests and diseases with drones has secured him a national award in his home country of Nigeria.

Femi Adekoya, who studied for a Masters in Integrated Pest Management while at Harper Adams, is now applying his knowledge via his company Integrated Aerial Precision.

His success in agricultural technology and innovation has now seen Femi selected by the Royal African Young Leadership Forum for a prestigious Royal African Award.

The forum was founded by His Imperial Majesty, Oòni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, and Femi received his award at a special ceremony earlier this month.

He said: “I feel so honoured to be identified and found worthy to be one of the 100 young and vibrant Africans to be considered for this special award.

“Much more, I'm deeply motivated to go with the work I'm doing to keep pushing the boundaries of agricultural technologies, especially talking about drone technology in the African agricultural landscape to deliver the promise of agricultural productivity, food security, and economic prosperity.”

The award is the latest of a series of accolades for Femi, who began his studies at Harper Adams in 2019 – and utilised his time at the university to the full, studying to become a qualified drone pilot alongside his Masters degree.

By combining both his full degree and the qualifications he secured vis his short course, Femi was able to develop and extend his work in Nigeria – and is now seeking to train a new generation to adopt similar technology.

He added: “This professional qualification and academic training at Harper Adams University have empowered me to engage in the use of innovative technology like drones in the agricultural industry to solve various problems.

“Furthermore, I have also been instrumental in the capacity building of youths and professionals in my home country to adopt UAVs.”

Femi had worked for seven years in farming and smallholder training before beginning his studies at Harper. Seeing the damage pests and disease can cause to crops, he became motivated to study for his Masters – drawing on the knowledge of industry experts throughout his course.

He added: “Studying for a Master's degree in Integrated Pest Management at Harper Adams University has armed me with the knowledge, skills, and industry exposure to contribute to efforts geared towards solving real-life challenges militating the sustainability of the agri-food sector of my country.

“Personally, the community of supportive staff and the environment that fosters excellent students' work-life balance on the campus made the whole experience great and memorable for me.

“I'm always proud of being a Harper Graduate!”

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