Dole Incorporates Pelican Spray to Advance Smart Farming and Sustainability Goals
Pyka, maker of autonomous electric aircraft for crop protection and cargo transport, and Dole plc, the global leader in fresh fruit and vegetable production, are pleased to announce the successful completion of the first trial phase with Pyka’s Pelican Spray aircraft.
Upon receiving delivery of the aircraft in late 2022 in Dole Fresh Fruit’s operation in Honduras, combined personnel from both companies began flight operations and spray efficacy testing at Dole’s Isletas Farm. Pyka’s autonomous electric aircraft performed with excellence, demonstrating ease of operation and effective crop protection.
As a next step, the use of Pelican Spray will be extended to larger areas of Dole’s banana plantations and supplement Dole’s existing fleet of agricultural spray planes. Subsequently, the partners will expand the Pelican Spray service to additional operations in Latin America. This autonomous electric aviation technology is a tremendous opportunity to optimize spray operations, reduce chemical usage through greater spray precision, minimize environmental impact, and contribute to Dole’s sustainability goals.
“Dole is an internationally highly respected brand whose farming practices set industry standards for fruit and vegetable production across the globe,” says Volker Fabian, Chief Commercial Officer at Pyka. “With their commercial operations spanning multiple geographical locations, Dole will demonstrate the value of Pyka’s product on an even larger scale than we have seen to date.”
“We are excited to partner with Pyka in order to be on the forefront of technological advancement for the aerial application industry,” says Patricio Gutierrez Carvajal, Regional Director Innovation, R&D at Dole Tropical Products. “This product addresses a market-wide need for a safer, cleaner, and more precise method of spraying crops by air. As a company, Pyka embodies the values of quality, innovation and environmental focus that align with Dole’s corporate mission.”
To see what’s next for Pyka, please visit www.flypyka.com
Pyka is defining the future of safe, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective aviation with certified autonomous electric airplanes for crop protection and cargo transport. Pyka’s proprietary technology includes autonomous flight control software, flight computers, high energy density batteries, advanced electric propulsion systems, and carbon composite airframes.
About Dole plc
Dole plc is one of the world’s largest producers and suppliers of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Dole plc is an industry leader in many of the products it sells, as well as in nutrition education and research.
For more information, please visit www.dole.com