Del Monte Philippines Inc. launched a drone program in Mindanao to become one of the early users of unmanned aerial vehicles for agriculture in the Philippines.
Del Monte Philippines said that like an “eye in the sky,” the drones would be used to map and monitor the company’s vast plantation areas in Bukidnon covering 25,000 hectares.
The drones will also be used to assess the health and vigor of pineapple plants in the fields during various stages of growth, providing a full macro view of the plantation fields―from monitoring growth and yield to early detection of pest and infestation until harvest.
The company said it usually took 18 months to grow a pineapple before it was harvested. During that growing period, the drones would fly over the fields of Bukidnon to collect various types of images including topography and color. On board the small aircraft are sensors for flight altitude, speed and imaging, along with its control system that connects to a laptop controller.