Drone Project

Artificial intelligence-driven drones have started revolutionizing Philippines’ rice farming. Bayer Crop Science (BCS) completed a “drone seeding” demonstration in Paniqui, Tarlac in partnership with the Carlos Cojuangco Foundation Inc and New Hope Corporation. In this demonstration, drone significantly eliminated costly and time-consuming labor in rice planting.

The drone seeder substantially cuts labor and cost of direct seeding. The drone seed spreading service fee is being placed at only P3,000 per hectare for Bayer Arize farmer-customers. On the other hand, labor cost for transplanting rice traditionally costs P11,000 to P13,000 per hectare. 

A technology demonstration completed by BCS in Brgy. Sampot in 2020 has shown the success of using drone to broadcast (‘sabog tanim’) rice seeds. Sabog tanim or direct seeding is a method of sowing rice seeds.

Instead of a whole day to do direct seeding in one hectare, drone seeding for the same area can be completed in only 30 minutes. Based on the conducted trial, seeding rate is 20 to 25 kilos of hybrid rice seeds per hectare, which is far less than the 40-50 kilos seeding rate in the manual sabog tanim, indicating effective seed distribution.

Within just one day, 20 hectares may be planted with the seeds using drones versus 1 hectare if done manually. The drone distributes rice seeds aerially from an altitude of 2.5 meters at a speed of one meter per second.   

The drone, registered with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), has a weight of 25 kilos and a rice seed loading capacity of 10 kilos. Drone pilots are also registered by CAAP. Good seeding has also been observed when land preparation has been done properly. For now, the introduction of the drone seeding service will be focused in Central Luzon, Philippines’ rice granary.

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