Two agricultural companies in Davao City invested in purchasing drones for renting out to banana farmers.
Sagrex Foods, Inc and Dolphin Agri Ventures await 30 drones from China. Respectively, one drone is worth PhP 500,000.
“Some (big) farms use drones in aerial spraying. In terms of cost, it’s lower compared to a plane and it is good for small land holding and better than manual spraying”, Federation of Cooperatives in Mindanao (FEDCO) Chief Executive Officer Ireneo D. Dalayon said .
Dalayon explained that using drones does not only reduce cost but also increases productivity and improves quality through with a more precise spraying operation targeting leaves.
“At present, we are doing manual spraying to control sigatoka. Drones are more efficient compared to manual spraying,” Dalayon stated.
As cited in the report from Business World, using drones can also lessen toxic pesticide drift in surrounding communities compared to the manual spraying has health risk to banana farmers.
The said new technologies can obtain 20-30 litters of pesticide.
“Turbo planes fly so high and fast that some of the chemicals do not hit the leaves, unlike drones, which you can fly at an ideal height so the mist directly hits the leaves. Also, manual spraying has an effect on humans because a worker who does manual spraying has direct contact with chemicals,” Dalayon stated in the report.
He also highlighted that improving the quality of the banana can attribute to increase profitability through obtaining a higher buying prices. On the bad side, if banana farmer’s produce is not good in quality, buying prices are guaranteed to be cheaper.
More interestingly, FEDCO is planning to purchase more drones through tapping LANDBANK for loans.
Currently, as drones will already be used, the cooperative is looking for alternative jobs for manual aerial spray workers.