Drones in Agriculture
While drone usage in agriculture is still very new and sometimes experimental, a certain number of interesting use cases have been identified over the last 3 years and are being used to a certain extent already in the Global North. Use cases include soil and field analysis, crop and irrigation monitoring, plant health assessment as well as planting and crop spraying (read more in PVC’s 2016 report on drone use).
For the Global South, it is foremost important to establish use cases that are adapted to the agriculture needs and fit the value chains and value propositions specific to each area and country. For example, the African Union published a decision in February 2018, requesting the AU and Member States to harness drones for agriculture as one of three emerging technologies of relevance for African development. While this decision opens up many opportunities, it is important for solutions to take into account the local needs, context and value chains.
Through our EcoRobotics program, we aim to:
- Initiate and manage pilot projects to create use cases for drones in agriculture in the Global South
- Collaborate with existing NGOs, research institutes, local stakeholders in developing countries and industry on research projects to find new use cases
- Find solutions that fit local value chains and propose solutions fitting the specific needs of developing countries
- Organize specific trainings for the use of drones in agriculture
Small-Holder Farmer Resarch project in Tanzania in collaboration with IFPRI and University of Maryland