Innovation That Matters

Indigo Drones helps farmers map the landscape and monitor crops | Photo source angel olaya on Unsplash

Unmanned crop monitoring helps small farmers in Costa Rica

Agriculture & Energy

With unmanned aerial vehicles and internet of things devices, Indigo Drones is helping farmers to monitor crops and spot potential issues

Spotted:  We are in the era of genetically modified crops, AI, and all things automated, yet one in ten people around the world go hungry. And one third of all food produced is wasted every year. 

Agricultural intelligence company Indigo Drones is on a mission to help farmers at the production end of the chain. The company was created by Sergio Ballester, a graduate of the Costa Rica Founder Institute, with the goal of helping cultivators of rice and pineapples.

Indigo Drones helps farmers monitor crops and spot potential issues during growing seasons through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and internet of things (IoT) devices. Together, these help the company paint a digital map of the landscape, allowing farmers to see the state of the land.

The data collected can be applied in two ways. First, it can be used to determine where resources or inputs, like water and pesticides, need to be administered. This in turn helps reduce unnecessary spending on large amounts of fertilisers and pesticides – something which can burn a hole in farmers’ budgets. Second, the data can help create an agricultural weather forecast, so that farmers can foresee how their crops are likely to grow in the coming months and take better care of them.

The company’s impact on the world of agriculture led MIT Technology Review to include Sergio Ballester on its list of Innovators Under 35. The adoption of similar technology on an international scale could help make farming more sustainable across the globe.

Other drone-related innovations recently spotted by Springwise, include project in Korea is using drones to monitor octopus fisheries, and a startup that is using drones to re-plant the forest.

Written By: Katrina Lane



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