Approximately 20 percent of Colombia’s population lives in rural areas, mostly relying on farming as the main source of income. CampoVivo supports Colombian farmers by strengthening their capabilities all the way from production to commercialization. The collaboration between McCain, the world’s leading producer of processed pre-fried frozen potatoes and the Yunus Foundation, was founded in 2013, with BASF joining in 2016.
Colombian potato growers often lack access to financial capital, new farming technologies, and technical assistance. With these disadvantages, they face the challenge of low yields and have little bargaining power over the sale price of their crops. The collaboration supports them to improve their livelihoods by increasing crop yields and ensuring that farm produce is sold at a competitive price.
In a risk-free setting that allows them to experiment with new agricultural ideas, farmers and students learn how to produce high-yielding, premium-quality potatoes sustainably. BASF hosts technical field schools in demo plots, where farmers meet weekly over the course of an entire cropping season with a BASF trainer. One plot follows local conventional farming methods while the other is used to experiment with best agricultural practices. The farmers measure plant development, inspect samples of insects, weeds and diseased plants, and compare characteristics of different soils. Every week, they present their findings, followed by discussion and further planning. All activities include a focus on the responsible use of crop protection products and the importance of personal protective equipment. A public school for young people studying agricultural technology offers workshops in Good Agricultural Practices provided by BASF, and students visit the potato demo plots to experience agricultural practices first-hand.
Bringing innovation and technology to small-scale farmers in rural areas, improving agronomic practices, leading to higher better-quality yield.
Promoting the responsible use of crop protection products and providing personal protective equipment.
Collaborating with a public school to provide training workshops on Good Agricultural Practices, including first-hand experience in the potato demo plots.
CampoVivo is a joint effort by McCain, Yunus negocios sociales, BASF and other partners.
Drones for Smallholder Farmers
One million Latin American farmers depend on rice for their diet, employment and income. 80 percent of those are smallholders who cultivate rice manually and farm fewer than 3 hectares. They face many challenges: increasing the productivity of their farmland and the efficiency of agricultural inputs and ensuring the responsible use of crop protection products. Could the use of drones to spray crop protection products be an innovative solution to these challenges?
Rice farmers in Ecuador and Colombia would benefit from higher efficiency in crop inputs, reduced costs and minimized exposure to crop protection products, all of which would be feasible if drones were used to treat their crops. However, there are insufficient guidelines and only a limited understanding of how smallholder farmers would benefit from this technology. BASF set out to answer these questions in a feasibility study.
During field days or on demo-plots, farmers and partners tested the application of crop protection products with drones and were trained on responsible use of crop protection products. In visits to local schools, the partners promoted safety awareness for children.
Children trained on safety awarness
Farmers trained on application technology
Farmers trained on responsible use of crop inputs
Evaluation of new technology that could contribute to more efficient and sustainable production of rice, banana and corn in Ecuador and Colombia.
Promoting the responsible use of crop protection products and the importance of personal protective equipment.
Promoting precision agriculture for small-scale farm units through a new business model for application of crop inputs.
BASF partnered with Ecuaquimica, dji, dronesur, and InnovAgro (CropLife Latin America).