Drones in Commercial Applications: Agribusiness

Civilian use of 'unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)', more commonly known as 'Drones', has gained traction with both consumer and commercial users in recent years. Although the concept and use of drone aircrafts itself is not a new technology, increasing affordability in manufacturing, higher accessibility to civilian drone aircrafts, and the expansion of wireless mobile connectivity has propelled the adoption of small drones for consumer and commercial usage.

Commercial drone applications currently range from infrastructure, construction, agriculture, media and entertainment, insurance, transportation and logistics, telecommunications, security and surveillance, to mining.

Assessing the value chains, market landscapes, and potential impacts between different industry applications of commercial drones, we have identified agriculture drones as a most critical market segment positioned by this technology's unique capabilities which are unmatched yet in practical application, market opportunities, and significance in implications to farm operators, regulators, agribusiness players, and drone companies involved.

The first in what will be a series of publications exploring Drones in Commercial Applications, is titled "Disruption and opportunity: Implications of commercial drone adoption in agribusiness." The publication reviews the current developments surrounding agriculture drones, implication and growth opportunities for value chain players involved, market readiness, and paths to adoption for agriculture drones in selected country case studies. Specifically, this paper covers:

  • Economic drivers for adoption
  • Agriculture drone software and hardware companies
  • Capital investments for agriculture drones
  • Application of agriculture drones in the farm management cycles
  • Existing farm management tools and business impacts from agriculture drones
  • Early agriculture drone adopters – country case studies: Japan, and the United States
  • Agriculture drone adoption by crop science companies
  • Emerging service opportunities
  • Current commercial drone regulations
  • Roadmap and potential for adoption in country case studies: China, Thailand, South Korea, and Philippines


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