Global
Agriculture

Ecuador

Farming Stories project: Drones for Smallholder Farmers

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?

 

Why

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.

 

How

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.


Result

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150
Children trained on safety awarness

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120
Farmers trained on application technology

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50
Farmers trained on responsible use of crop inputs

SDGs

SDG 1 – No Poverty

Evaluation of new technology that could contribute to more efficient and sustainable production of rice, banana and corn in Ecuador and Colombia.

SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-Being

Promoting the responsible use of crop protection products and the importance of personal protective equipment.

SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Promoting precision agriculture for small-scale farm units through a new business model for application of crop inputs.

SDG 17 – Partnerships for the Goals

BASF partnered with Ecuaquimica, dji, dronesur, and InnovAgro (CropLife Latin America).