Smart agriculture: disease detection now possible by drones

A Smart Farmer

Drone Agriservices has just launched a service for detecting, monitoring, and spreading products in cane fields or other plantations using drones. This company, validated by MSIRI/MCIA aims to meet specific needs with the concept of smart agriculture.

The agricultural and cane sector faces an aging workforce that is less and less present in the field. Mechanization has limits and only technology can provide a solution. The Mauritius Cane Industry Authority (MCIA) has been promoting the use of drones for agriculture for years with spatial and cartographic data already available across the island. It is in this movement that Drone Agriservices, a company founded by Bruneau Adolphe and iSpace Technologies, launched its services.

This company has invested in drones coming directly from the United States. It offers four distinct services: analysis of plantations, monitoring, spreading of products, and spraying. Drones piloted remotely by an approved pilot carry all these operations out exclusively.

Drones for Field Pest Control

Bruneau Adolphe emphasizes that his company 360 Capture collaborates within Drones Agriservices with the drone equipment importer iSpace Technologies. “We carried out tests in the fields, with the support of the MCIA, and on some land of a sugar company on around 100 hectares. We could spread liquids, as well as granules, to meet the needs of farmers.”

In video and photo documents, Drones Agriservices reveals that its drone identified an infestation in a field. We treated the affected region and saw visible results. “The advantage of spraying by drone is that it does not require human intervention. Manual application by a worker will affect areas at the edge of fields and not necessarily the affected areas. Above all, the worker must be able to have adequate protection. The technology makes it possible to reduce exposure to the insecticide or pesticide. But above all, it allows for a more effective result,” specifies Bruneau Adolphe.

Piloting Agricultural Drones

Smart Agriculture is more useful than ever due to the aging of the agricultural workforce and the lack of renewal of said workforce. However, the technical aspect of drone use is a project dear to the MCIA. Due to a lack of expertise and a company that could offer this service, it took time. Bruneau Adolphe, who launched into drones in 2015, is today an experienced pilot and also offers photo video services. “I discovered this possibility in agriculture, which is a growing sector despite the diversification of the economy. I had to learn to pilot these machines, which are larger than those used for photography and video. He can say that for the moment, I am the only pilot of Agriservices Drones,” the latter underlined to the express.

Bruneau Adolphe: Pilot of Drones Agriservices in a Field of the Mediterranean Region

Bruneau Adolphe, a recognized pilot, has signed a MoU with the MCIA to offer drone services for smart agriculture. Drones Agriservices allows pilots to fly over fields and perform interventions, with iSpace Technologies providing the equipment. Adolphe is the only pilot at Drones AgriServices, ensuring appropriate insurance and having a proper license. The company has covered 100 hectares and achieved success.

Whether for interventions or field studies, the contact for Drone Agriservices is at

MCIA: an avant-garde institution

The Mauritius Cane Industry Authority (MCIA) has invested time, talent, and also expertise in using drones in the fields. The institution has listed the advantages of using this machine for agriculture.

Effectiveness in identifying anomalies:

Drones equipped with multi-spectral cameras can efficiently and quickly identify anomalies in sugarcane fields such as holes, weeds, diseases, or other sources of variability. The processing of multi-spectral images collected by the drone allows detailed analysis and rapid responses to potential problems.

Rapid field monitoring:

Drones can quickly fly over a field, providing a quick inspection or survey of the entire area. This is beneficial when the sugarcane is tall because agronomic constraints may not be easily visible from the field edges. The human eye and the density of the plants prevent access to areas.

Higher resolution imaging:

Drone images offer much higher resolution compared to traditional satellite imagery. This increased resolution allows for more precise and detailed observations of crops, making it easier to detect and accurately assess problems.

Cloud-free data:

Clouds do not limit drones, as they are not dependent on satellite imagery. They can operate, regardless of weather conditions, ensuring consistent data collection. Precision agriculture: Techniques developed by the Mauritius Sugarcane Industry Research Institute (MSIRI), as the research and development center of the MCIA, enable precision agriculture. Drones can map weedy areas in fields and then apply the required treatment only to the affected areas, thereby reducing production costs and minimizing pesticide use, benefiting the environment.

Crop improvement for more yield:

The use of sprayers by drones has helped revive certain crop improvement practices, such as the application of chemical ripening agents to improve the sucrose content of sugarcane stalks. Due to high costs, they discontinued this practice, but thanks to the effectiveness of drone spraying, they have reintroduced it. Efficiency and speed: Drones are very efficient and fast in their operations. A drone sprayer can cover eight to ten hectares of sugarcane fields daily and the time required to spray one hectare with herbicides or maturing agents is less than an hour.

Appeal to younger generations:

The adoption of drone technology in agriculture can more easily attract younger generations to agricultural work. Using modern technologies can make agriculture and agricultural practices more attractive to young technology enthusiasts.

Benefits for sugarcane producers:

MSIRI is actively developing agronomic applications, including agrochemical spraying, for the benefit of all sugarcane producers. The main objectives are to improve productivity and reduce production costs.


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