Moldova Competitiveness Project, USAID Moldova
In 2018, USAID launched the second-annual Digital Development Awards (the “Digis”) to recognize USAID projects that harness the power of digital tools and data-driven decision making. The FlaveDor activity, funded by USAID’s Moldova Competitiveness Project and led by Chemonics, was one of five winners chosen out of the 140 applicants.
Moldova’s growing wine industry is threatened by Flavesence dorée (F. dorée), a contagious, incurable pathogen that impacts approximately 20 percent of vineyards in the region. While the contagion can be isolated, the manual process of inspecting and testing each vine is long and laborious, giving the pathogen time to spread and spoil the crop that so many in Moldova depend on as their source of income.
The FlaveDor activity uses drones and GIS data to digitize the vineyard inspection process, allowing farmers to quickly identify and isolate vines infected by F. dorée. Through the use of a specially designed drone and software system, the program can quickly scan all vines in a given area. This process has been proven to save time and money, reduce pesticide use, and increase the accuracy of detection, with an 85 percent success rate in neighboring countries.
Photos by Colby Gottert for USAID / Digital Development Communications