April 7, 2020

In November 2019 HiView and its partners have completed the first phase of the Incorporating Flying Sensors in NCBA Clusa’s project in Manica, Mozambique project. During the inception phase of this project, a training program was provided for selected participants to train technical NCBA Clusa staff on Flying Sensors. Three training events were completed at the NCBA Clusa office location in Chimio.

The first session started with learning how to operate the Flying Sensors and how to process the imagery obtained from the flights. Most of this first session involved field exercises where operators would practice operating Flying Sensors manually and with automatic control. After the field exercises, the team would go back to the office to process the images that were obtained during the training. The second training session was a recap of the first, were operators were given more freedom to perform the routine themselves. The third and final training event focused on crop monitoring. Here the true analysis and interpretation of the imagery were taking place.

After the last training event, the operators are now fully capable to conduct flights and process the images. The successful completion of the training sessions means that the project will move to the second phase; monitoring the rainfed cropping season, which lasts from December 2019 – May 2019. Here the operators can put their training knowledge to practice by monitoring and advising farmers so that they can improve their productivity.

The outcome of this training perfectly aligns with the goal of the project: To support and enhance the project activities under the NCBA Clusa PROMAC II project for increasing agricultural productivity, by using Flying Sensor technology for: 1) tailoring advisory services to local circumstances, and 2) quantifying the impact of conservation farming practices on productivity.

The project is a collaboration between the ongoing ThirdEye project, FutureWater, NCBA Clusa and HiView. The PROMAC II project is an ongoing project of NCBA Clusa introducing conservation farming practices to various locations in the Manica, Tete and Zambezia provinces, with the objective to increase agricultural productivity. This project incorporates flying sensor activities in the PROMAC II project as an M&E indicator of the practices and as an innovative technology for providing technical staff with spatial information on crop development. Flying sensor imagery can provide data at regular intervals with high spatial resolution and an additional camera for vegetation stress detection. This information is used to analyze the productivity of selected areas. Flying Sensor technology will be used to support the PROMAC II project with data collection on crop development and comparative analysis between areas with traditional practices vs. conservation agriculture practices.

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