Philippine farmers harvest bountiful palay yields with drone assistance

Drone spraying pesticide on wheat field. 3D illustration

Farmers in the town of Rizal, Palawan, have reaped a bountiful harvest of 8.25 tons of palay (unhusked rice) per hectare, thanks to the Philippine Department of Agriculture’s (DA) drone seeding demonstration. The groundbreaking initiative, conducted as part of the DA’s Mimaropa Rice Program in partnership with the Rizal Municipal Agriculture Office, showcased the potential of drone technology to revolutionize traditional farming practices. The harvest festival, attended by 250 enthusiastic farmers from various clustered farms in the area, highlighted the benefits of embracing cutting-edge agricultural solutions.

Encouraged by the DA to adopt this time-saving and cost-effective approach, the farmers witnessed firsthand how drones can streamline the planting process and reduce expenses associated with farm inputs. “Through the help of agricultural drones, the planting of unhusked rice will be easier, and farmers can save on farm inputs,” the department stated.

The demonstration revealed that a mere 15 kilos of hybrid palay seeds, when dispersed via drone, are sufficient to cover an entire hectare of land. Remarkably, between 30 and 40 kilos of palay can be sown over a hectare within a span of just 10 to 15 minutes, while 15 liters of fertilizer and pesticide can be applied in a mere six minutes – a feat previously unimaginable with traditional methods.

The DA’s Mimaropa Drone Team financed the 10-hectare demonstration site in Barangay Candawaga, Rizal, while the remaining 200 hectares of rice fields were serviced by New Hope Corporation, a private service provider commissioned by the farmers themselves at a cost of 2,500 pesos per hectare.

With a total of 210 hybrid cluster areas already benefiting from drone seeding technology, the DA’s Mimaropa Rice Program is poised to drive a sustainable agricultural revolution, empowering farmers with innovative tools to boost productivity, efficiency, and profitability.

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