Drones offer improved perspectives on agricultural landscapes
Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are no longer a thing of the future. From their perspective high in the sky, these hovering insect-like machines grant researchers new and valuable insights on how crops evolve across landscapes and over time.
“Satellite images are not detailed enough . . . UAVs with specially developed cameras are necessary in order to capture the detail and information needed,” explains Hildo Loayza, physicist and member of the drone team at the International Potato Center in Peru, known by its Spanish acronym CIP.
One of the biggest challenges to making smart investments in agriculture is the lack of evidence to base decisions on. Especially in developing countries, the lack of basic data makes it difficult for decision makers to assess the opportunities and trade-offs of different investments or interventions. But with the use of drones, that status quo may be about to change.