Probably no other innovation is spreading in all aspects of agriculture today, as massive as digitization. Technologies can help stimulate innovation for sustainable agri-food systems and contribute to better and safer food production, while preserving natural resources and biodiversity.
AgTech facilitates the rationalization of human and financial resources, contributes to agricultural sustainability and generates new income to improve the lives of people in rural areas. In Moldova, one of the AgTech startups that has already proven its importance is Dron Assistance. In today’s article about the Moldovan startup community, we find out their history and plans!
Startup Moldova: Welcome to the # Know the Community section! To get started, tell us a little about Dron Assistance.
Dron Assistance: The startup consists in the creation of a network of agricultural drones in Moldova for the transition to a more sustainable agriculture by using drones for mapping, monitoring and maintenance of plantations. We ensure the best choice of pest management methods using intelligent field monitoring tools to detect pests and predict population growth. We also deliver integrated plant protection programs based on the analysis of field data.
The target customer segment is agricultural producers as well as simple users who want to buy drones to provide services.
Startup Moldova: The idea behind the startup is a special one for Moldova. Tell us what innovative solution the initiative brings.
Dron Assistance: Dron Assistance is the first company in the Republic of Moldova whose drones and pilots have been authorized to perform flights for agricultural purposes. We already have two years of experience in the field of unmanned agricultural systems. We currently have over 60 satisfied customers who are interested in continuing their collaboration and are ready to test our new products that will be introduced to the market.
Our innovative solution is to create a network of agricultural drones, integrating them into an intelligent system for monitoring, analyzing and forecasting agricultural land. We are in the process of developing a network of regional branches “Dron Agro Network”, for technical service, training, equipment maintenance, with the help of local employees. Also through the “Dron Agro Network” we will be able to use this full system throughout the country with specific recommendations for each region.
“Dron Agro Network” provides a digital information platform for customers and members of this network, which provides technological recommendations, market information and market access.
Startup Moldova: Where did the idea for this startup come from, from what necessity?
Dron Assistance: The idea of this startup comes primarily from the need to use smart solutions for sustainable agriculture, minimizing costs, risks and environmental impact, while increasing yield and income per hectare.
Startup Moldova: Did you encounter any difficulties along the way?
Dron Assistance: The biggest difficulties we faced were the lack of qualified staff, the lack of an educational institution that prepares pilots for unmanned aerial systems and the fear of farmers towards new technologies.
Startup Moldova: Have you managed to attract investments for your startup?
Dron Assistance: Yes, we did. Within the “EU4 Moldova: Key Regions” program, we purchased 2 drones to open a regional branch in Ungheni. In the program “Digitization of Small and Medium Enterprises” funded by ODIMM we won a business voucher to promote our business. We also participate in the program “Moldova Innovation Challenge Scheme: Digital Transformation in Public and Private Sectors” with an innovative idea.
Startup Moldova: Behind any brilliant idea is a strong team. Get to know the “brains” behind the startup.
Drone Assistance: We currently have 14 drone pilots trained and experienced in the work, and a team of 5 people dealing with plant protection, research and development, marketing, technical support and financial management.
Startup Moldova: For your drones, sky is not the limit. What are your plans for growth and development?
Dron Assistance: In the short term, we intend to increase the drone fleet to 20 pieces and to open at least 3-4 branches in the regions. In the medium term, we would like to increase sales to existing customers and find new ones, providing additional services, to cover Moldova with a network of agricultural drones, to perform analyzes, support on self-produced medicines, plant protection products and fertilizers and to implement the “Agro Dron” network.
In the long run we want to sell and promote autonomous systems and solutions for integrated plant protection and business promotion not only through the sale of drones and services provided, but also with the maximum automation of business in agriculture.
Startup Moldova: Thank you for the interview! Congratulations and good luck!‘
Dear community, we invite you to get to know Dron Assistance on their website and Facebook page. Watch the #CunoasteComunitatea interviews below to find out the stories of the initiatives at the beginning of the path, but also of the successful ones, from our country!