An international webinar, co-hosted by XAG and its Chilean partner Tecmundo, took place on July 3 to discuss how digital technology can empower Chilean smallholders in their farm work. Expert from Chilean national agricultural research centre was invited to share an outlook on future of LATAM agriculture development. Nearly 500 professional audiences in the farming sector, including XAG's trusted partners from Ukraine, have participated in the event.
Rodrigo Quitana, agricultural engineer and specialist in precision agricultural technology, automation, and mechanisation from the Agricultural Research Institute (INIA) delivered a speech to introduce the important role of agritech in Chile's national economy. According to his briefing, agriculture is one of the main economic activities in Chile, accounting for 28% of the country's total trade and 11% of its total GDP. Approximately 10% of the Chile's labour force is engaged in agriculture and its related services.
Rodrigo Quitana talked about the importance of adtech for agriculture in Chile
However, the industry of precision agriculture technology in Chile, featuring crop science, drone, robot, and AI, is still small and fragmented with inadequate critical mass in R&D, making it difficult to showcase the clear benefits of agri-tech. In current years, the government of Chile has been putting on efforts to promote research in sustainability and innovation for the agriculture sector, and to address the lack of agricultural workforce as well as the waste of water and pesticides in food production.
"High accuracy positioning and centrifugal spraying system can be vital in the real world of farming. In the past whole year, INIA has worked together with Tecmundo on conducting experiments to test the spraying effect of XAG agricultural drone. The result indicated that comparing to traditional farming machinery, drones fitted with iRASS spraying system have better performance in delivering atomised droplet uniformly to target areas and therefore saving water." said Rodrigo.
Tecmundo will be working with INIA to commence four trial projects, which include durability test of XAG JetSeed spreading system and setting up standard operation procedure of spray drone. The collaboration aims for the formulation of Chilean national policies and regulations regarding agricultural drones. Meanwhile, long-term drone training courses would be arranged twice a month to provide a quick access of drone technology to equip local farmers, enabling them to start agribusiness and reap benefits with agritech.
XAG partner Tecmundo
During the seminar, XAG's channel partners from Ukraine also shared stories and experiences on adapting autonomous technology to their own countries.
"XAG is combining drones and robots to provide a comprehensive farming solution. The technology is built for farmers to tackle their true needs and also helps us a lot in creating new jobs and careers in Ukraine's agriculture. Now we are getting attention from more and more young generation of farmers," said Valerii Iakovenko, Co-founder of DroneUA, Ukraine.
Valerii Iakovenko, Co-founder of DroneUA
Seeing the global trend of digitalisation, countries in Latin America are gradually opening their arms to the adoption of tech-driven precision agriculture. According to the Chile government, Robotic equipment such as autonomous robots and drones will witness an increasing demand in the future market, since their capability to reduce manual labour, save resources and lower production costs are now being unveiled for the smallholders.