Dutch Water Technology

ThirdEye: Flying Sensors to Support Farmers’ Decision Making


ThirdEye: Flying Sensors to Support Farmers’ Decision Making

Watercycle reference

A key factor in enabling more efficient and increased food production is having relevant information. Such information is needed when having limited resources and being uncertain where and when to apply these resources. 

Our low-cost Flying Sensors (drones) have cameras which can measure the reflection of near-infrared and visual light. These parameters are used to calculate the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). NDVI values give an indication of crop stress and support management decisions regarding the application of resources such as water, seeds, fertilizer, pesticides and manpower. Since near-infrared light is not visible to the human eye, it can provide information on the status of crops about ten days before the human eye can see this. This can be caused by a lack or excess of water, deficiency of fertilizer, pests or abundancy of weeds.

Building the team
So far 14 Flying Sensor operators have been trained and 11 flying sensors are now operational. ThirdEye’s service area is over 1,600 ha in 2 areas in Mozambique: Chókwè and Xai-Xai.

Over 3,500 farmers receive our service, of which 71% is female. The total amount of beneficiaries is over 17,000.

More crop per drop
Water productivity is increased by 55%.

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