ICTs for Development

Featured items

Cost-sharing initiative for the set-up of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) services for agriculture in six ACP countries

Capacity building and financial support - Call for expressions of interest

July 3, 2017

Background

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)—or drones—allow capturing and analysis of agricultural data at high spatial resolution, including status of the land, crops and farm infrastructure contributing to more effective management. UAS operators are typically young entrepreneurs who invest in the equipment, learn the skills to use it, help analyse the data and interpret the findings for the benefit of farmers, their clients. Such services can help increase returns on investment for farmers (as documented in Europe, the USA, and recently in Mozambique) and create skilled employment opportunities for educated rural youth.

CTA recognised these opportunities, partnered with leading private sector operators, and assisted ICT start-ups in Benin, Ghana, Tanzania, DRC and Uganda in acquiring the capacity for delivering UAS services. This materialised in 2016 year via a series of activities including training in operating drones and mounted sensors, understanding safety and privacy principles and regulations, managing and processing remote sensed data, developing business plans and networking. In addition, CTA provided some financial support for the acquisition of equipment. Technically competent and entrepreneurial youth-led enterprises have now diversified the range of their services and offer UAS services to agro-enterprises, farmers' associations, development agencies, research institutions and seed companies.

CTA is now in the process of replicating the initiative in the countries listed below:

Selected companies/organisations would benefit from the following:

  • Full support for one company executive to attend a 5-day training in Europe c/o a leading UAS service company; including international travel and accommodation;
  • Partial financial support in acquiring UAV equipment (UAV, sensor, spares);
  • Technical backstopping for one year;
  • Marketing for UAS services via dedicated CTA social media accounts.

Eligibility

Expressions of interest are accepted from companies/organisations registered in the following countries and operating in the ICT4Ag / agricultural / agribusiness/agriculture advisory sectors:

  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Nigeria
  • Rwanda
  • Zambia
  • Jamaica

Expression of interest:

Interested parties are invited to read what follows with great attention and submit the requested documents in PDF format not later than 6 August 2017 to the following address: uav4ag@cta.int.

Documents to be submitted

  1. A company profile (as per template)
  2. A proposed business plan on how to operate as a UAS service provider in the country including the listing of potential customers including but not limited to:
    1. Large scale agribusinesses
    2. Farmers' associations/cooperatives having members growing the same crop on possibly contiguous areas
    3. Seed companies
    4. Agricultural research institutions
  3. A motivation letter explaining the reason why the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) should invest human and financial resources in assisting your enterprise/organisation in developing Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) services for agriculture?
  4. Written statement that your company – if selected – will contribute approximately 40% or Euro 2,000 to the cost of acquisition of equipment (CTA would co-fund the balance). The core equipment would consist of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) equipped with a multispectral sensor and possibly an RGB camera. The selected solution (to be confirmed) would be Parrot Disco-Pro AG.
  5. A one-page report on the current rules and regulations (if any) governing the use of UAVs in your country and eventual requirements including costs for obtaining permits/licenses for operating as a commercial UAV operator.
  6. Evidence of availability within your company/organisation of an agronomist or as an alternative, of a partnership between your organisation and a third-party having agronomic skills.
  7. Name and position of the person who would represent the company during the one-week training in Paris (management/business decision-making level requested).
  8. Copy of the registration/incorporation act of the company/organisation