Malaysia is the world's second-largest producer of palm oil, with more than 4.5 million hectares of oil palm plantation producing over 17 million tonnes of palm oil annually. It now accounts for 11% of the world’s oils & fats production and 27% of the export trade of oils & fats. The industry provides employment to more than half a million people and livelihood to an estimated one million.
One of the key issues in oil palm plantation is pest management for Oryctes Rhinoceros, or more commonly referred to as Rhinoceros Beetle. These beetles are a serious problem for young oil palms and could cause damaged fronds and holes in petioles, which result in malformation and early death.
Pest control for the Rhinoceros Beetle used to be done manually - a plantation worker carried a 16L knapsack sprayer and spray each of the young palms individually. With a shortage of manpower in the industry, it's seeing high demand for a large-scale UAV service provider. Aerodyne via Agrimor and its teams of drone pilots are stepping up to help Malaysian farmers control infestations of the Rhinoceros Beetle.
Learn about how they do so in this case study.