Synthesis on the agricultural UAV-based remote sensing systems conducted by the International Potato Center (CIP) in close collaboration with University of Nairobi and University of Missouri, and through a community of practice.
Agriculture case study: Drones for agriculture in East Africa
Agriculture case study: Drones for
agriculture in East Africa
Dieudonné Harahagazwe (CIP), Elijah Cheruiyot (CIP) and
Arnold Bett (UoN)
Drones East Africa Conference - IQPC
Nairobi, 20-21 June 2017
1) Evolution of low-cost platforms at CIP
2) Open source sensors and software by CIP
3) Examples of drone applications in the
agricultural sector at CIP
4) Role of community of practice in generating
and sustaining drone-based technologies
5) Field work for improving crop statistics in
Tanzania – a proof of concept
6) Key messages
1. Evolution of low-cost platforms at CIP
• Hot air.
2. Sensors & software by CIP (Open source)
IMAGri v2.0 - Multispectral Imaging System
The Multispectral Acquisiton system
IMAGri v2.0 has a resolution of 640
x 480 pixels.
• Blueprints, software, camera and optics selection are open access.
• Adaptation for different indices (e. g. PRI).
• Can be adapted to any UAV that can carry more than 800 g.
• The upcoming version will incorporate correction for light conditions.
ISAM V3.0 – Image stitching software
- Stitches 2 or more images into one (mosaic)
- Tests were performed with TETRACAM Micro, Snap, ADC (3 bands) and IMAGri (2 bands).
- Current Version can join 5 bands MCA TETRACAM images
Remarks: Source code, final product, tutorials and sample image are free access in our website - GNU GPL License
3. Examples of applications at CIP
(1) Evaluating potato genotypes´ tolerance to
(2) Estimating yield
36 days after planting (d.a.p)
4. The Community of Practice - CoP
Why a CoP?
• Identify mechanisms that enable UAV ARSIS as a
• Identify actions to achieve the outcome;
• Determine how to implement these actions in
What collaborations are necessary?
What capacities and learning are required, and how
to develop these?
What opportunities exist to pursue these activities?
How can constraints be addressed?
A diversity of stakeholders in a
Community of Practice for innovation
Innovation Flow & Feedback Loops
• Users of the
– Costs, accessibility, and user-friendliness
– Involving local institution at different stages is a must
– Stepwise – From simple to complex tools
– Complementarity with satellite imageries
– Multiple crops
– Yield assessment?
– Is it feasible to discriminate varieties?
– National, Regional and
– 5 CGIAR Centers (CIP,
ICRAF, CIAT, IITA and ILRI),
Inception Workshop – October 2014, Nairobi
International Potato Center – UAV–
platform assembled and tested in
engaged with journalism
to communicate with
the public, and training
videos about UAV-ARSIS.
June 6-7, 2016
Identifying innovation pathways through participatory processes in
UAV and accessories
1Check the propellers and drone's motors
5Tester for batteries
6Conector "Y" for batteries
7Fully charged battery of Transmiteer RC
8Fully charged battery of Laptop
9Image from the place
Flight with Tetracam
3Ground Calibration Target
4Compactflash memory card empty
5Fully charged battery of camera
Flight with MicroTTC
2 MicroTTC camera
3 Ground Calibration Target
4MicroSD memory card empty
5Fully charged battery (Lipo 850mAh )
Flight with Sony camera
3SD memory card empty
4Fully charged battery of camera
Site identification and reconnaissance
Set mission objectives, which
• Type of UAV
• Image resolutions
• Time to acquire data, e.g. growing
On-ground preparation and data acquisition
• Assemble and calibrate UAV
• Survey field
• Ground measurement
• Flight plans
• Data acquisition with UAV
Land use/cover in Kilosa, Tanzania (sample=100 ha)
Class Area m2
Bare soil 22418.64
Flooded land 19001.4
Paddy Rice 347.93
No data 16958.61
Pigeon Pea 37540.3
Recently planted land 51084.71
6. Key messages
• UAV-based technologies have a huge potential
in agricultural sector
• Quality of products generated is strongly
dependent on the quality of sensors and data
processing techniques used.
• Establishing a CoP is an excellent approach for
developing technologies that respond to local
needs for enhanced adoption and sustainability
• These technologies will only work in the region if
there is an enabling environment (policies and
capacity building) – REGIONAL HUB
RPAS-based remote sensing supporting
CIP provides tailor-made solutions for the utilization
of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems suited with
required sensors and open source software to
register images, process data and generate the
information needed for phenotyping and timely
agricultural decision making.
Felipe de Mendiburu
Thanks for your attention
Contact: Roberto Quiroz at