• • • Precision farming tech attracts Russian-Belarusian investment
AgroDroneGroup, a resident startup of the Skolkovo Foundation that uses drones and computer software to closely monitor the condition of soil and crops, has raised 25 million rubles ($440,000) in investment from the Russian-Belarusian Venture Investment Fund (RBFVI). The company, whose technology enables farmers to check crops for disease, monitor the harvest and determine soil quality and nutrient content, plans to use the funds to expand its operations, including by setting up a design engineering office in Belarus and organizing production of drones for neighbouring markets. The technology has already been tried and tested in Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
AgroDroneGroup says that its technology can increase harvest yields by up to 20 to 30 percent, and reduce costs by 15 to 20 percent, by revealing the precise location of weeds and disease and other crucial information. By providing 3D relief mapping of the land, the technology can be used to prepare the ground more efficiently for a crop, reveal areas of stagnant water and waterlogged soil, and identify the most fertile patches of land.