Flying Sensors – FutureWater

Obstacle Most farmers do not have access to reliable information on the status of their crops and are afraid to risk using costly inputs such as high-quality seeds, on-time irrigation, and fertilizer for fear of wasting these precious resources.

Innovation Flying Sensors

Organization Type For-Profit

Country(ies) Mozambique

Contact Peter Droogers Email Future Water Website

Challenge

In Mozambique, some of the most common crops—maize, cassava, and sorghum—have very low yields per hectare. Most farmers do not have access to reliable information on the status of their crops and are afraid to risk using costly inputs such as high-quality seeds, on-time irrigation, and fertilizer for fear of wasting these precious resources.

Solution

FutureWater provides smallholder farmers with insights that are critical to improving their application of limited resources such as water, seed, and fertilizer. The Flying Sensor provides high-resolution spatial information beyond the visual spectrum. Flying Sensors are equipped with near-infrared sensors that detect crop stress up to two weeks before it is observable by the human eye.

Milestones and Achievements

The first year of FutureWater’s project had promising results. In Year 1, the Flying Sensor benefitted approximately 2,000 households and conducted flyovers on 660 hectares of land. A subset of customers reported that using the Flying Sensor resulted in a 39% water reduction.

This year also saw the innovator focused on navigating Mozambique government regulations, increasing public visibility, and resolving a few remaining technical issues with the Flying Sensor. The innovator has now obtained the necessary clearance from the Ministry of Defense and has learned from the Civil Aviation Authority that there are no regulations applicable to their product.

Goals

  • Support to navigate and accelerate the Mozambique government’s approval process so that in-country sales can begin.
  • Create a marketing and communications strategy, which includes channel identification, corporate messaging, customer research, and partner research.
  • Help to establish baseline metrics for water consumption reduction and productivity.

Photos

Videos