APPLICATION OF UAV SURVEYS FOR EVALUATING THE PRODUCTIVITY LEVELS OF TRADITIONAL AND MECHANISED FARMERS IN A CUSTOMARY LAND TENURE SYSTEM
In most of Nigeria’s rural communities, land holdings are small and uneven; and this impacts significantly on their mechanisation potentials. This fragmented nature of the farmlands also inhibits the creation of an effective land market. This study utilised a digital orthomosaic generated from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) survey in evaluating the productivity levels of traditional and mechanised farmers in Okeho Community of Oyo State, South-Western Nigeria. The aerial survey was conducted with a DJI Phantom 4 Professional UAV covering 250 acres of traditional and mechanised farmlands to produce a very high resolution orthomosaic at 6 cm spatial resolution. Sixty-three respondents (61 traditional farmers and 2 mechanised farmers) were also interviewed using questionnaires. Their responses were keyed into a database with the Open Data Kit (ODK) data collector. The orthomosaic was classified into farmland units and a database of the farmers land holdings was created in ArcGIS software. Some parameters influencing their productivity were computed – Crop Field Fraction (CFF) and Crop Yield Index (CYI). The results showed that very few farmers had a shared equity on land (only 3%); most farms were acquired under freehold or lease. Also, only 1% of their farm sizes was larger than 5 acres. There was a sharp disparity in the crop field fraction (traditional farms – 32.2; mechanised farms – 68.8), and the productivity from the mechanised farmers surpasses that of the traditional farmers. It is recommended that the Government should support cluster farming systems among farmers to boost productivity.