Smart Agriculture Solutions
2022-09-29 11:26Women in Agriculture Leverages XAG Drone to Cast off Farmer’s Cost Burden2022-09-29 11:26More >In a densely planted orchard of Brazil, an XAG agricultural drone was flying and spraying on top of the citrus trees. Regina Hakvoort was the team lead of this operation and sending drone to control pest was her most familiar routine. This time, her mission was to cut down the cost by halving chemical use and stop the pest from recurring.While drone was spraying fruit trees, Regina marked down drone operation status on her notebookAs the breadbasket of the world, Brazil is the major global supplier of soybeans, corn, cotton, and sugar. Over 28% of its land area was used for agriculture, accounting for 9% of the total domestic employment. However, the increasing costs of crop protection pose a challenge to farmers who struggle to reap profits from their land.While producers are looking for solutions to save on chemical sprays, Hakvoort spearheads precision farming efforts in Brazil. She has used the XAG P series drones to effectively control agricultural pests and help relieve the financial burden of farmers. Farmers Bear Most of the BurdenBrought up in a farmer’s family, Regina Hakvoort set up an agricultural service company Anáhata, which includes XAG’s agricultural drone as the innovative solution on crop protection. After graduated from the University of S?o Paulo, she started her career as an agronomist and helped run her family farm. According to Regina, whether pests can be successfully managed is highly associated with the financial position of farm owners. When expanding the plantation scale to reap more harvest, they must pay a high price for spraying pesticides and hiring manual labor. Regina was setting an XAG agricultural drone before it was carried to an operationSince the national ban on toxic pesticides, Brazilian farmers turn to use eco-friendly pesticides to spray crops, but the outcome falls short of expectation. "Many farmers remain the tradition of blanket spray by tractors, and they have increased the use of pesticides to ensure that pests could be eliminated. For example, the corn fields were sprayed 18 times while that frequency can surprisingly reach 30 times for cotton," Regina said.Moreover, no matter how much has been invested, a heavy rain during the harvest season could easily ruin the crops, turning the families' whole-year effort in vain. Farmers are exposed to the high risk of investing more but earning less.During college, Regina had learned about the "low volume spraying" and "ultra-low volume spraying" technology, which allows chemicals to be sprayed in high concentration and achieve better application rate. It means that chemical dosage can be significantly reduced. To her surprise, this technology has already been around for over 50 years, yet few farmers knew about it. "If I just lecture and taught people about low volume spraying, it was like having only one leg but trying to run. Therefore, I practice this approach with XAG’s drone to address overdose and help more farmers get rid of the cost burden," said Regina. Drone to Reduce Chemicals and Save CostsRegina and staff from Megadrone Brasil, XAG’s local partner in BrazilIn the past, low-volume spraying was achieved primarily through large, expensive fixed-wing plant protection aircraft. The introduction of XAG’s agricultural drone has offered a more reasonable price, and its operation is fully automated. This persuaded Regina to invest in drones and collaborate with XAG's local partner Megadrone Brasil.Drone offered Regina diverse options when she combated cotton weevils, a destructive pest that has wreaked havoc on crops in Brazil. Farmers used to apply more than 30-liter pesticide for every hectare but still had difficulty controlling the spread of cotton boll weevils. With drone spraying, the cotton weevil can now be controlled with only one liter for the same size of land, significantly reducing farmers' cost and resulting in high yield. Due to its precision spraying technology, the XAG drone can navigate and adjust the fine droplet size to precisely cover each plant. Regina has also helped a vineyard farm treat fungal disease with 40% less chemical. The XAG agricultural drone was used to target on the infected spots and spray at centimeter-level accuracy.Regina and her team prepared crop service in an orchard of BrazilShe said, "in the old-fashioned way, farmers of this vineyard sprayed with tractor five times a week, but the mildew just kept recurring. After scouting the fields, I found out that the disease only occurred on young grape leaves, which happened to be the areas that were missed during boom spray." Seeing the Farmland From "Her" Vision Starting business as a woman in the agriculture sector, Regina feels challenges everywhere. In her view, a great part of her work is educating the market, as well as finding the right partners to progress together and achieve mutual benefits. "I expect cooperation with trailblazers who respect the value of knowledge and women in agriculture," she said.As drone technology is landing on farms in Brazil, there have been more and more women riding the wave to engage in agriculture and showcase their entrepreneurship. People of all genders and ages from rural areas will have equal opportunities to develop their talents and work together to safeguard the agricultural powerhouse.XAG P40 Agricultural DronePhoto credit: Megadrone Brasil, Anáhata, Timber
2022-09-15 18:15XAG’s Drone Force on the Rise to Reap More for Vietnam Farmers2022-09-15 18:15More >Across Vietnam's Mekong River delta, drones flying above the field to perform farm works have been gradually adopted in the rice paddies. Vietnam becomes one of the fast-growing markets for XAG Agricultural Drone, helping farmers address labor shortage and reduce costs. In the meantime, drone pilot is seen as the new favored career for rural youth, who can harness technology to make a good fortune in the agriculture sector.KPT's pilots were adjusting the drone before operationThe new rising force to grow rice yieldsNhan, a farmer who owns a 70-hectare rice field in the Bac Ninh Province, used to suffer from unstable yield and profit decline. He was not content with the performance of manual spraying that was costly and inefficient. As the cost of hiring workers had posed great pressure on his livelihood, he ordered services from KPT Fly Team to help him cultivate rice with XAG's drone."Before approaching us, Nhan hired 20 to 25 workers to spray pesticides manually, but this often led to uneven spraying and waste of chemicals. Now because we have the tool of preventing pests more effectively, our team becomes his first option to reap harvest," said by 30-year-old Khuong, KPT's co-founder."With two XAG P100 agricultural drones, two small teams consisting of only 4 to 6 people can finish the fieldwork much faster and easier. While the drone sprays evenly and penetrates the rice crops more quickly, it can also spread seeds and fertilizers. Our service has helped him reduce labor cost and improve the yields."XAG P100 Agricultural Drone was sowing seeds in Nhan's rice farmAccording to the World Bank, employment in agriculture in Vietnam has fallen from 65% to 36 % over the last two decades. Young people in rural areas have been moving to the city for more decent job. In face of rural aging, farmers complain that it is getting more difficult to hire workers to manage their rice fields.The introduction of agricultural drone has changed the tune of young generation on rural development. It provides a decent work opportunity for rural youth who can build a new type of business like the KPT Fly Team or join as a drone pilot. They have become the new rising force to strengthen Vietnam's role as 'rice bowl' of the world.XAG's local partner DigiDrone and the KPT pilots used drone to provide service in a farmThe key to win farmers' trustThe KPT Fly Team was established in 2021 by a group of young engineers with experience in rice cultivation. They provide services to farmers in the Mekong River delta, using XAG's drones to handle pests, sow seeds, and spread fertilizers.Seeing the great potential of drone business in Vietnam farming is the main reason why Mr. Khuong and his counterparts established KPT. The shortage of manual labor, the high price of hiring workers, as well as the increasing cost of fertilizers and pesticide have prevented rice farmers from improving productivity. The output is unstable, and the profits farmers can receive seem to depend on luck.A full set of XAG P100 drone was ready to workThe ideal income has also been attracting young people to step into this new career. According to Mr. Khuong, during the busy farming season, a drone pilot can earn 20.4-23.8 million VND monthly, far higher than the average salary in countryside and even in city.Since started, the KPT has grown to a team with 4 founders and 16 operating pilots and served over 5,000 hectares of rice fields. "The XAG P100 drone makes us more confident in our effectiveness. Its 40kg payload enables operation at a larger scale. Simply setting parameters on the mobile app, the drone can do its work autonomously with the lowest level of human intervention. It is quite relaxed when working with XAG," said Mr. Khuong.However, promoting agricultural drone to the farmers has never been easy. Most farmers were used to spraying with a large amount of water and they doubted that drone can be more effective in protecting crops with less water. To dispel farmers' misgiving, the pilot team would carry out test flight and prove the efficiency of drone compared to manual operation. Calculations are made to show farmers the benefits of reducing waste and how this can save money for them."We commit to farmers that when our drones spray according to the amount of water we recommend, and if it is not effective, they will be compensated," Mr. Khuong said. As the results do not fail their expectation, the KPT team is gaining more trust as well as increasing customers.The pilot team was having the dinner by the field after a long day of workXAG's agricultural drone is well credited for the level of its automation and precision, but what impresses KPT the most is the company's agricultural ecosystem. From remote sensing drone to unmanned ground vehicle, XAG has also developed multiple types of products to focus on farmers' various needs. More technologies will be applied on farm to yield a bright future.
2022-09-01 06:32An XAG Drone Rescue to the World-Famous Cambodian Pepper2022-09-01 06:32More >Pepper, a world-prized spice native to South and Southeast Asia, is Cambodia's major cash crop with growing significance. Today, with the help of XAG agricultural drone, this 'king of spice' can overcome the long-standing challenge of farmers enduring long hours and heavy workloads. Mab and his workers together with drone pilot from XAG local partner in CambodiaThree Years to Reap A 'Spicy' Harvest Cambodia's warm, humid climate and fertile red soil make it a "paradise" for pepper growth. The Kampot Pepper from Cambodia is the first pepper variety in the world to be awarded the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) by the European Union, a certification recognizing products of exceptional quality that can only be produced in a designated region. Unripe peppercorns grow on vinesIn a pepper plantation of Cambodia's Mondulkiri Province, 65-year-old Mab is looking intently over the towering pepper pillars, while a red drone hovered from the top of this rainforest-like pepper garden. As the manager of a 1.5 hectares plantation, he has invested heavily in this spice garden: the pepper has to wait 3 years after planting before it can be harvested. During that time, constant and meticulous care was required. Pepper vine must climb on tall pillars over 4 meters to gain more space and sunlight Less Manual Effort to Bear FruitsIn Mab's previous experience, he had to take a lot of time and effort and employed many workers to look after the pepper's new shoots and leaves, preventing them from being eaten by pests. However, pepper has climbing vine that can grow over 4 meters height. The top shoots and leaves are difficult to maintain by conventional plant protection methods. According to Mab, the emerging labor shortage has made hiring farm workers more difficult. If he missed the best timing, the peppers are likely to lose their ability to bear fruit due to the pests, resulting in severe yield loss. Pepper plantation manager mixed pesticide and filled the liquid tank of XAG drone This August, under Mab's watchful eye, a P40 drone has took off under the control of a skillful pilot from XAG local partner Red Sparrow Cambodia. The drone reached the designated spot and spray insecticide top down from the air on pepper shoots that growing high up in the ground. The pepper crops were precisely sprayed to improve efficiency and avoid overdose. In face of labor shortage, agricultural drones are leaving their digital footprint on this significant cash crop. Next time, when your taste buds are conquered by the rich, spicy, finger-licking aroma of black pepper, don't forget that Cambodian farmers are seeing the next boom in pepper cultivation. XAG P40 Agricultural Drone flew above pepper plantation in Mondulkiri Province, CambodiaPhoto credit: RED SPARROW CAMBODIA