Banana and durian growers utilise drones to address labour shortages and reduce costs

XAG drone deployed above durian orchard in Vietnam

XAG drone deployed above durian orchard in Vietnam

Vietnam’s fruit growers are harnessing the power of XAG drones to cuts costs and improve efficiency on their banana and durian farms.

According to a media release from the ag-tech company, an increasing number of the country’s growers are using XAG’s P100 Agricultural Drone to address labour shortages and reduce agricultural inputs.

Bananas and durians are two of the country’s leading fresh produce exports and are typically grown in hot and humid climates. These conditions are prone to pests and diseases and require spraying and fertilisation throughout the growth cycle; a practice that can require heavy investment in labour and fertiliser.

Farm Krong Pack from Dak Lak Province is one grower that has addressed these challenges by introducing XAG’s P100 agricultural drone. After the drone pilot set parameters and planned flight route on app, the XAG P100 followed the pre-set path autonomously to spray. It sprayed 20-30ha of banana field within a day, which was equivalent to the efficiency of 20 workers toiling simultaneously. 

In the past, this banana farm was sprayed twice a month with hand operated sprayers. During the rainy season, when the frequency of spraying increased, banana growers often struggled to hire enough workers.

Now Farm Krong Pack utilises the XAG P100 drone – which can adjust droplet size to different micron levels and has an RTK centimetre-level navigation system – to achieve precision spraying. The application of drones helped reduce water use by 80 per cent, pesticide use by 70 per cent, and fertiliser use by 60 per cent.

As international demand for Vietnamese durian has increased in recent years so has the need for growers to meet the associated export standards. Growers are required to follow good agricultural practices and meet strict phytosanitary requirements including limitations around pesticide usage.

According to the release, durian exporters in Binh Phuoc, Vietnam are using XAG drones to reduce costs by up to 60 per cent.

The XAG One app can provide flight route planning and record operational data throughout the whole process. Drones can fly at 1-3 meters per second on top of the durian trees to penetrate the crops, employing centimetre-level precision to avoid repetitive or missed spraying that would cause yield loss.

“Before, it took workers eight hours to spray out the farm, but now a P100 takes only two hours,” one grower said.

“I used to hire ten people to help me conduct farm work, but now two are enough