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Expert Aerial Application: Vietnamese Farmers Use Agricultural Drones

During the 3rd Mekong Delta Entrepreneurship Competition in Vietnam Lin Chongyi from Dong Thap Province stood out from the nearly one thousand contestants. He won second prize and a startup bonus of 20,000,000 VND for his project "Drone-based Aerial Application for Vietnamese Agriculture".

 

 

Standing on the podium, Lin Chongyi remembered the first time he operated the DJI Agras MG-1P agricultural drone six months ago: "It was the start of a new journey.”

 

 

From Employee to Entrepreneur: The First Person to Perform Aerial Application in Dong Thap

 

Before you get the applause and are called an entrepreneur, there are countless days of hard work with no recognition. Before 5:00 am every day, Lin Chongyi and his team set off with their two MG-1P drones. Just as the first rays of light redden the sky, the team enters the rice paddies on two motorcycles and the voice of the remote control announces: "flight started".

 

Lin Chongyi was the first person to introduce drones to Dong Thap Province in Vietnam. After earning his master's degree, he originally worked in the local Ministry of Agriculture. In early 2019, he learned about drone-based pesticide application almost by accident online. This ignited his passion to innovate and make changes: "Agriculture is the most important industry in Vietnam, and I see drone-based aerial application as the future of agriculture in our country.”

 

Vietnam is the top exporter of agricultural products in Southeast Asia. It is also the world's second-largest exporter of rice and coffee. However, the development of Vietnamese agriculture is hampered by small scale farming, weak infrastructure, and an aging labor force. Therefore, the introduction of drone technology offers many new possibilities for agricultural applications in Vietnam.

 

However, the promotion of aerial application was not as easy as he imagined: "Famers are very conservative, and the biggest problem is earning their trust." In order to address the concerns of the farmers, Lin Chongyi brought his MG-1P drones to every village in the province and provided free services to the farmers. During each demonstration, he would use water-sensitive paper to demonstrate the spray performance.

 

The evenly distributed droplets on the paper were excellent proof of the aerial application performance. Compared with a manual approach, agricultural drones are not only smart and efficient, but also reduce water consumption by 90%. Lin Chongyi's care and diligence gradually won him the confidence of the farmers, who began to embrace the new technology of drone-based aerial application.

 

Within six months, Lin Chongyi and his team had expanded their service coverage to nearly 10,000 acres. They use the latest technology to provide crop protection services for rice, corn, and other crops in southern Vietnam.

 

 

 

Becoming a Leader: Creating a Platform and Continuing to Innovate

 

His practical focus on hard work won Lin Chongyi the trust of the farmers as well as recognition from investors during the entrepreneurship competition.

 

Lin Chongyi believes that smart agriculture is the future of the industry and China's aerial application technology is the example he is trying to follow. However, the Vietnamese market is still in need of innovative business models.

 

The key issue for me is how to make aerial application services truly accessible to farmers," he said. Even though the "sharing economy" model is not as popular as it once was, Lin Chongyi believes that centralized agricultural data service platforms will be the trend of the future. Therefore, he plans to build a sharing platform and use it to collect work data. He can then use this data to develop operating standards and perform service management. Ultimately, this will allow him to provide more scientific crop protection solutions to farmers, helping them improve their product yield and quality.

 

 

DJI Agriculture in Vietnam

 

In 2017, DJI Agriculture officially entered the Vietnamese market. After two years of market cultivation, the company's agricultural drones account for nearly 60% of the Vietnamese market and sales are continuing to grow rapidly.

 

With the establishment and development of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area and various strategic cooperation initiatives including Belt and Road, Two Corridors, One Belt and One Axis, Two Wings, Sino-Vietnamese economic and trade cooperation has become increasingly close. Vietnam will become an important partner that can help ensure China's food security in the future. Likewise, DJI Agriculture will help promote the rapid development of agricultural technology in Vietnam.

 

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