Agribotix LLC’s Latin American venture, Agribotix LatAm (an Eco BCG company), is helping Panamanian farmers use agricultural drones, data, and analytics to boost crop production and reduce costs. The agricultural intelligence company is working with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) to show growers the benefits of using the technology as a basic tool in precision agriculture programs.
The collaborative effort will help farmers respond to new environmental challenges, such as increased climate variability, new pest threats, disease and diminishing agricultural acreage. The Panama pilot program aims to identify best practices for using drones effectively to improve farming under Panamanian agro-ecological conditions and to accelerate adoption of the technology. The guidelines will be disseminated later by IICA throughout Panama and to the 34 member countries, stretching from Canada to Argentina.
“The resulting guidelines eventually will be disseminated by IICA throughout Panama and to the 34 member countries stretching from Canada to Argentina,” said Gerardo Escudero, IICA’s Delegate in Panama.
“At Eco BCG, we believe in joint efforts with non-governmental or international agencies that help farmers achieve better results in their production management,” said Eco BCG Founder, Dr. Sergio Castillo.
The advantages of using Agribotix’s FarmLens agricultural intelligence are many. Producers can get better information about their crops in a matter of hours, not days, and with a level of detail about the entire field that they couldn’t get through traditional scouting efforts. Adoption will help producers improve competitiveness and increase revenue. Moreover, local economies will benefit from strengthened food security and better use of farm resources.
Initial testing in Panama illustrated the effectiveness of using Agribotix drone-enabled solutions to survey an entire field and rapidly identify areas that require attention, enabling farmers to take appropriate action before a problem becomes widespread. Producers can calculate stand density of row crops with great accuracy and project yields or identify areas to replant. More sophisticated application of the drone-enabled analytics provides farmers with essential data for precision application of chemicals and fertilizers, decreasing input costs and increasing productivity while reducing the environmental impact of agrochemicals.