Agric drone for mango farmers in Cote d’Ivoire

As a parting short for their three-year partnership with mango producers in Cote d’Ivoire, the Germany Federation of Export Trade donated a DJI Agras T40 drone to the farmers’ representative organisation, Inter-Mangue.

For background, Inter-Mangue is a coalition of three sections along the mango production value chain in Cote d’Ivoire – the farm owners on the ground themselves; traders (exporters, packaging providers, harvesting technicians, and local traders), and companies involved in mango processing.

With the farmers facing challenges at grassroots level – which included lack of working capital to enable farmers to fund their operations; lack of knowledge of modern precision agriculture methods; lack of training and expertise to improve on performance and practices; and the losing war against diseases and pests that were bearing on the mango crop and affecting output – Inter-Mangue found a willing partner in BDEx.

At a recent function to celebrated the three-year partnership, which ended on June 30 this year, it was revealed that funding from BDEx, which amounted to about 1 billion CFA francs (nearly $1,7million) was used to, among other things, capture the 3,000 farmers into a workable database, galvanise the mango production value chain into collaborating through the creation of Inter-Mangue, train farmers and build their capacity through studies, seminars, and workshops.

But the work is not nearly done; hence the donation of the 40l spraying drone, which will go some way in solving the precision spraying challenge the farmers were facing.

The farmers will get training from local drone services company Investiv, which is also a custodian of the Flying Labs franchise in Cote d’Ivoire.

“Between 14 and 30 June, INVESTIV, in partnership with Inter-Mangue, the federation of mango producers in Côte d’Ivoire, delivered a drone with a capacity of 40L and trained four of its agents in their use,” Investiv revealed on their social media page.

“This project is part of the partnership between Inter-Mangue and the German Federation of Export Trade (BDEx) with the objective of increasing the competitiveness of Ivorian SMEs in the export of fruits and vegetables and thus contributing to the improvement of the employment situation in the fruit production and processing sector in Côte d’Ivoire.

“The third largest supplier to the European market and the leading African mango exporting country, the challenges associated with this production in Côte d’Ivoire are diverse. The application of precision farming methods through the use of drones could contribute to reducing the use of water and phytosanitary products while ensuring better productivity.”

Although they were thankful of the help from the Germans, Inter-Mangue’s hierarchy bemoaned the short life of the project, and the fact that it was adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, important areas of the project remain to be met; among them the geolocation of orchards which is not completely completed, the mobilisation of resources of all kinds, especially financial and the need to optimise public relations work.

“The partnership has been very beneficial to us,” said Inter-Mangue president Pascal Nembelessini-Silué.

“All the results generated by the project during these three years are palpable. But, if some remain fragile and deserve to be supported, measures must be taken not to lose the achievements of the project.

“That is why we want its renewal in another form.”


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