Cargill’s drones to begin testing in Indonesian oil palm plantations

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Drones like this could be used by Cargill if operational testing is successful
Drones like this could be used by Cargill if operational testing is successful

Related tags: Palm oil, Oil palm, Sustainability, Cargill

Cargill is on track to make its goal of completely sustainable palm oil supply by 2020, the company has said in its second palm oil progress update, summing up the efforts made so far by the US-headquartered agriculture major.

Highlights of the report include a growing volume of palm oil that is traceable back to mill level, and on-the-ground supplier outreach expanding to include road shows and mill and plantation visits to work with partners on sustainable practices.

However, there have been bumps in the road. Traceability numbers show drops in some places and gaps in others, caused by changing volumes and imprecise reporting methodologies currently used by some suppliers. 

We are working to help them advance as required​,” Cargill said.

Meanwhile, the company’s project to introduce unmanned aerial drones will soon become a reality after a Cargill team begins flight training in Indonesia. On completion, they will graduate as certified drone pilots.

With the drones, we are pushing the envelope in sustainability​,” the report said. “They will help us map and monitor valuable pieces of forest land that need to be protected, and improve land and water use, so that we can grow more on the same amount of land and manage our environmental footprint better​.”

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