The ultimate goal of the CajùLab project is to scale not only climate smart cashew production, but also the technologies that have been developed in the course of the project. To achieve deploying remote sensing technologies for the cashew sector at scale, two elements are essential. First, identifying scalable workflows for data processing and user interaction. Secondly, sharing knowledge around the setup and deployment of a technology to reach geographical scale.
Efficient workflows are the key to take a solution from a laboratory environment to an economically feasible scale of large scale deployment. In the case of cashew and remote sensing, this means making drone imagery analysis work efficiently not only for one plantation but for thousands of plantations.
CajùLab has therefore worked hard on trialing and developing a standardised workflow for the drone analysis of cashew plantations, which can deliver high quality results at speed. On average, and tested across more than 1.300 plantations, the workflow that was developed by CajùLab in collaboration with Alteia was able to deliver a full-scale analysis of a single plantation in less than 1.5 hours from drone image upload to results output. These standardized outputs include 25 different indicators, ranging from tree density to tree health. What is more, is that up to 15 plantations can be analysed simultaneously, thereby massively increasing the scalability of the solution.
Once that workflow was established, it was time to share how to implement it. For CajùLab to succeed, it was important that while local stakeholders in Benin are the main actors to maintain the developed solutions in the future, the solutions should, however, not be limited to Benin, but be in fact replicable to other cashew growing countries around the world.
In Benin, CajùLab has thus worked with decision makers at the government level, like the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as in academia, such as the University of Parakou, to enable them to take up and further evolve the developed technologies.
CajùLab has engaged decision makers in government, the private sector and academia to assure sustainability of its technologies and recommendations in Benin. ©TechnoServe
Looking beyond the borders of Benin, CajùLab departed on a mission to Mozambique to assess how to replicate its solutions in another major African cashew growing region. In fact, with climate patterns rapidly changing also for Mozambican cashew farmers, replicating CajùLab’s remote sensing solutions in Mozambique could not be more relevant. Stay tuned!
In Mozambique, challenges are similar to those faced by cashew farmers in Benin. Climate patterns are changing and a lack of rain is negatively impacting yields. ©TechoServe
Cashew cooperatives, supported by TechnoServe and the Mozambique Nut Institute, are determined to increase cashew production and they count on seeing CajùLab’s coming to their country soon. ©TechoServe