An oktokopter, the new comer in the sky of Sub-Saharan Africa for agricultural applications

An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has been assembled and tested through a close collaboration between the International Potato Center (CIP), the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and the University of Nairobi (UoN). Assembled at ICRAF Land Health Decisions Unit in mid-January 2015 and then tested at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) campus, the so waited platform has an overwhelming agenda over the SSA landscapes for various applications. From monitoring soil, animal and plant health status to crop yield forecasting, this new technology is expected to improve accuracy and timeliness of data that will guide decision-making process and improve the quality of interventions in the rural areas. However obtaining flight permits in different countries represents the first among several hurdles the technology will have to face before it is fully established as a routine tool for acquiring data for agricultural statistics. The issue is further complicated by lack of regulatory frameworks on the use of UAVs in the region. This initiative is supported by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and contributes to several CGIAR Research programs (CRPs) including Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE), Humidtropics, Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) and CCAFS (Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security).

For more information on this technology please send an email to Dr. Roberto Quiroz ( or visit the UAV-SSA photo album and video and/or the community of practice around this technology.

To see the Oktokopter Photo Gallery in full screen, click here

SSA, sub saharan africa