This Aspiring Doctor Turned Drone Entrepreneur Is Making Farming Better In Ghana

George Madjitey Jr

Once aiming for a life of helping people through health care, American-born Ghanaian George Madjitey Jr. is now helping farmers in Ghana to reap the rewards of being part of a modern, technological economy.

“I honestly hadn’t anticipated that this moment in time would evolve into an entrepreneurial journey – but what I did know was that I had the chance to make a sizable impact in Ghana leveraging technology.”

Born and raised in a tight-knit Ghanaian community in Houston Texas, Madjitey was planning on being a doctor, but that changed when he had the chance as an undergraduate student to intern at a government hospital in the Ghanaian capital of Accra.

“I learned quickly that organisation was not a priority,” he said, “In contrasting the dynamics of the medical environment in Ghana to the U.S, I saw the issue of the organisation to be rooted in the lack of technological infusion.”

Despite completing a Masters in Healthcare Administration in 2017, that same year, Madjitey saw an opportunity with drone technology in Ghana’s burgeoning oil and gas sector, attended Houston’s Off-Shore Technology Conference (OTC) and connect with delegates from Ghana.

“But we ultimately recognized that the oil and gas environment was riddled with bureaucracy and regulations that would impede on our ability to truly add value within the sector,” he said.

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Aicon Andah COO of GEM Industrial Solutions at a drone test site on a pineapple farm in Cape Coast.

So he and his business partner went back to the drawing board and found a new direction: agriculture.

“In 2020, the Ghanaian farmer is arguably forgotten,” Madjitey said. “Left out of the data and mechanization revolution, local farmers are most susceptible to the influences of climate change.”

“With a lack of reliable and subsidized extension services specific to agriculture, local agri-stakeholders are not being afforded a fighting chance.”

Madjitey says his company, GEM Industrial Solutions, incorporates Blockchain in their mapping methodology and AI into their crop scouting & counting services.

“Providing these services at a price point that is sensitive to the market, local stakeholders are presented the opportunity to improve upon the efficiency of their cultivation practices, better strategize for planting, and reduce their use of agrochemicals, each of which positively influences their bottom line,” he said.

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An agricultural drone trial at a mango plantation in Ghana’s Western Region in September 2019.

Madjitey, who is now based in Ghana, says in comparison to Tanzania and Rwanda, the regulations around drones are more favourable in Ghana.

“When it comes to gaining authorisation for flying in the airspace locally, so long as you are outside the ‘no-fly zones’ you’re virtually free to fly,” he said.

According to Madjitey, says the absence of stringent regulation has attracted a number of new players to Ghana including Zipline, a drone operator specializing in the delivery of medical supplies.

source: Forbes

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