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Digital technologies help farmers make their work more efficient

Photographers or film-makers are not the only ones to use the drones in their activity. More recently, the farmers have joined this group, some of them becoming drone-pilots to upgrade their work and make it more sustainable. Alexandru Casap is a young person who decided to bring agricultural drones in the Republic of Moldova and help the farmers streamline their activity.

A few years ago, during a discussion with his friends, Alexandru Casap was surprised to learn about the successful use of drones in agriculture by some countries. Hence, the glimpsed idea has shortly evolved in a business-plan.

“I was very excited and did some research to review the available information. The most difficult part was to establish a partnership with the Producer, which took me several months,” Alexandru Casap, the Cabosal Company Director, confessed.

The business opening required a lot of investments. Part of this money, namely 135,000 MDL, was made available via the “Fruit Garden of Moldova” project credit line, funded by the European Investment Bank.

Shortly, the Entrepreneur managed to commence importing two types of drones, which would help the farmers make their work more efficient and avoid losses. For instance, one of the drones is used to pulverise the plant-protection products and fertilisers.

The drone may fly at the speed of up to 25 km/h, at the height of 2-3 metres over the crops and can pulverise small particles of water. Hence, the drone requires only 20 litres of mixture per hectare instead of 300 litres required by the traditional agricultural machines.

“Some older farmers are reluctant to use new technologies. Being familiar with the traditional technology, sometimes it is difficult to persuade them they can spray smaller quantities of water, and that 20-30 litres at most would be enough. Thanks to the drone, which pulverises droplets of 130-210 microns, the liquid sticks to the crop immediately, and there is no need to spray large quantities of water. Hence, some of the costs can be cut down. When large quantities of water are used for spraying, for instance 300 litres per hectare, a vast quantity of water goes into the soil, and the crops fail to absorb it. One can mention the ecological factor as well. No fuel is used and, in this way, the gas emissions could be curbed,” Alexandru said.

Another drone, fitted with six sensors, is capable to scan the lands and determine the crop status. The multispectral drone can develop a 47 km/h speed and may fly at a height of 100 metres at the most.

At the same time, following the collection of multispectral data, the latter are processed using software, which can develop a treatment map and upload it to the drone, so that certain areas can be skipped over. Drones are bought by farmers and companies rendering crop spraying and multispectral data analysis services. The price per drone is circa 19,000 EUR.

The European Union, through the European Investment Bank, provides support to Moldovan farmers aiming to develop rural businesses and increase their competitiveness.

So far, 264 investment projects have been funded through the “Fruit Garden of Moldova” credit- line, and the amount of 57.3 million EUR has been allocated to this end.

More details about the advantages and opportunities of “Fruit Garden of Moldova” Project are available here.

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