Moldova has high rates of poverty, with nearly a quarter of the population living under the national poverty line in 2021. The nation also has the largest farmland area as a share of its total land surface at 75%, 30% above the European average. Also, the agricultural sector employs over 25% of the labor force.
The prominence of agriculture in the Moldovan economy means that innovation and investment in technology in this sector could have a huge influence on not just the sector but the economy as a whole. To this end, there has been an emergence of drones serving to improve agriculture in Moldova, bringing major efficiencies and modernizing farming techniques.
Drones Improving Efficiency
Drones in Moldovan agriculture drastically increase the efficiency of agricultural processes such as pest and weed management alongside minimizing the waste of farming resources. For example, DRON Assistance, a company providing intelligent drone services to Moldovan farmers, estimates that drone technology’s sensors, imaging capabilities and consequent precision to spray herbicides use up to 20 times less water than a tractor would use. This could help Moldovan farmers save money and therefore make more profits, boosting the agricultural sector as a result. Furthermore, the fact that drones are aerial and do not make physical contact with the landscape means less damage to farmlands and crops compared to tractors, as well as releasing reduced amounts of fossil fuels.
According to UNDP, DRON Assistance offers an array of mapping and monitoring services that can analyze crop health and more accurately identify disease outbreaks at early stages. This helps farmers make interventions on time to address problems that they would have otherwise missed without such information. More sophisticated farmland monitoring abilities can also help in directing labor and resources for more general tasks.
More Good News
The potential utility of drones in Moldovan agriculture is still yet to be fully utilized, with new innovations constantly coming to light. DRON Assistance is currently working on technology that leverages AI to remotely monitor crops and reduce the need for human input. This could increase the productivity of Moldovan farms.
Furthermore, DRON Assistance has received grants from UNDP and the EU of $40,000 and €25,000 respectively. This gesture aims to make drones more affordable and accessible for Moldovan farmers, making the benefits more universal to the entire agricultural sector.
The International Trade Administration (ITA) has also marked high-value agriculture in Moldova as a niche that U.S. investors could venture into in the years ahead. Whilst agriculture remains a bedrock of the Moldovan economy, high-value agriculture remains relatively underdeveloped, despite the nation’s rich natural resources, fertile soil and favorable conditions.
In Moldova, the utilization of drones in agriculture holds immense potential for improving efficiency, reducing waste and modernizing farming techniques. Ongoing innovations and grants received by companies like DRON Assistance, along with the recognition of high-value agriculture as an investment opportunity, bode well for the future of the agricultural sector in Moldova.