Business

Bayer’s drone seeders reduce farmers’ labor cost

Bayer Crop Science (BSC), a company of German multinational pharmaceutical firm Bayer AG, has completed a “drone seeding” demonstration in Paniqui, Tarlac, which significantly reduced the cost of labor among rice farmers.

In a statement, BCS announced the success of using drones to broadcast (‘sabog tanim’) rice seeds in Panique. Sabog tanim or direct seeding is a method of sowing rice seeds.

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.

BSC said that instead of a whole day to do direct seeding in one hectare, drone seeding for the same area can now be completed in only 30 minutes.

While labor cost for transplanting rice traditionally costs P11,000 to P13,000 per hectare, BCS’ drone seed spreading service fee is being placed at only P3,000 per hectare for Bayer Arize farmer-customers.

“We are preparing farmers for a complete package of smart technology. We can now use drones to support agriculture modernization. Other countries in Southeast Asia have started to use drones in farming, including Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Meanwhile, it’s already used extensively in China,” said Aaron Cano, BCS new business activation manager.

“This is the future of farming. We are opening an opportunity for the youth to get interested in farming,” he added.

BCS has already started setting up a “one-stop-shop” for farmers to bring a complete service of hardware, apps, and inputs—high yielding Arize hybrid rice seeds and crop protection products.

“We’re developing that model right now—a complete service that goes beyond distribution of farm inputs. Down the road, we’ll also look at other hardware and applications that collect relevant data on climate, weather, and plant health to be provided regularly to farmers,” said Cano.

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